Estates With Will
If there is an actual Will and assets solely in the decedent's name, the executor should bring the Will to the County Surrogate's office within a reasonable period of time. By statute the Surrogate's office cannot appoint the Executor until 10 days after the death. Along with the Will the executor must also have the official copy of the death certificate. If everything is in proper order, and the Will is self-proving, the executor(s) can apply for appointment within a matter of minutes.
However, if the Will is not self-proving, one of the witnesses who signed the Will execute a Witness Proof by either coming to the Surrogate's office or executing the Witness Proof Form in the presence of a notary for proof of their signature. It is the executor's resposibility to provide the name and address of the witness so a Witness Proof Form can be forwarded. After the Will has been probated, the executor has 60 days to notify all of the heirs and beneficiaries named in the will.
For more information about duties of an Executor click here.