On November 25, 2019 New York Surrogate's Court Procedure Act section 1301 was amended raising the value of a small estate to $50,000.00.
The Legislative justification is noted as follows:
"In New York, it can be prohibitively expensive to administer a low-value estate, with attorney costs and court fees often costing thousands of dollars. Under NYS law, those administering "small estates" - estates with a gross value of $50,000 or less - have the ability to avoid these relative substantial monetary costs through a $1 "do-it-yourself" program (no lawyer, no fees, etc.) available through the court. However, this estate gross value cap was set nearly two decades ago and is no longer reflective of contemporary real estate and assets values of lower and middle-class people in New York; other states have subsequently raised their caps. By raising the cap to $50,000, this bill would both allow more lower and middle class New Yorkers access to this important program and put New York in line with contemporary state practices on this issue, such as California where a small estate is $150,000."
APPROVED AND EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 25, 2019