2006 New York Code - Liability Of Distributees And Testamentary Beneficiaries

  § 12-1.1 Liability of distributees and testamentary beneficiaries
    (a)  Subject to the other provisions of this article, distributees and
  testamentary beneficiaries are liable, in an action, to  the  extent  of
  the  value  of  any property received by them as such, for the debts and
  reasonable funeral expenses of a decedent, the expenses of administering
  his estate and all taxes for which the estate is liable, which have  not
  previously  been  recovered from the personal representative or from any
  other source described in paragraph (b).
    (b) No liability may be imposed upon such distributees or testamentary
  beneficiaries,  under  paragraph  (a),  unless   plaintiff   establishes
  satisfactorily to the court that he cannot fully satisfy his claim:
    (1) Because there is insufficient property of the estate available for
  such purpose in the hands of the personal representative;
    (2)  By  action  against  persons prior in liability to the defendant,
  under paragraph (a) of 12-1.2, because such persons are not amenable  to
  suit in this state, are insolvent or for any other reason cannot be made
  to answer for their liabilities; or
    (3) By the enforcement, under 3-3.6, of any lien, security interest or
  other  charge  he  holds  against  property of the decedent specifically
  disposed of by will or passing to a distributee, or against the proceeds
  of any policy of insurance on the life of  the  decedent  payable  to  a
  named beneficiary.

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