On November 25, 2019, New York State approved an amendment to SCPA §1301 that increased the threshold for small estates to $50,000.
Small estates qualify for an informal, simplified proceeding with the Surrogate’s Court, known as a Voluntary Administration. Real estate, no matter its value, cannot be administered under a Voluntary Administration.
However, a surviving spouse and/or children under age 21 are entitled to certain amounts, known as exempt property, which do not count toward the $50,000 threshold. Therefore, an estate worth over $50,000 may still qualify for a Voluntary Administration proceeding.
You should consult an estate attorney to guide you as to the proper procedures for estate administration.