The Surrogate of New York’s Onandaga County has issued a ruling in the Matter of Probate Proceeding of the Will of Sylvia P. Huntington 839 N.Y.S. 2d 909 that a professional corporation was not a "natural person" eligible to serve as executor of a will
The court here found that the professional corporation had only one shareholder and officer who had elected to incorporate to shield himself from individual liability and now was bound by that election. SCPA 707 provides that "letters may issue to a natural person or to a person authorized by law to be a fiduciary.
The problem here is that a "natural person" can only mean a human being while a "person authorized by law to be a fiduciary" also includes trust companies and corporations which are the sole or residuary legatee . Such corporations are authorized to act as administrator with the will annexed. Even though the petitioner here argued that the EPTL includes a corporation in its definition of a person, the court found this to be inapplicable, thereby finding the petitioner to be ineligible to serve as executor of the decedent’s will.