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The role of the executor of an estate includes many functions, e.g., collecting and protecting the estate assets, paying debts, taxes and expenses and distributing the estate assets to the beneficiaries as soon as practical and in accordance with the decedent’s wishes as expressed in the will. Section 11-1.1 of the New York Estates Powers and Trusts Law lists the powers of the executor. Although the powers are quite broad, the authority is not unlimited. For example, in a recent case, Community Burn and Wound Treatment Services, P.C. v. Staten Island University Hospital, NYLJ, Aug. 18, 2009, at 27, Col. 3 (Richmond Co. Sup. Ct.), the decedent was a licensed physician who was the sole owner of a professional corporation. The court found that the authority of the executor to step in as an officer of the professional corporation was limited because the executor was not a licensed physician and therefore the executor did not have powers reserved for members of the medical profession.

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