New York Consolidated Laws, Surrogate's Court Procedure Act - SCP § 1112. Authority to act
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The public administrator in his proper county shall have authority to take possession of, manage and collect the rents of the real property and take charge of the personal property of an intestate:
1. Whenever any person not known to have left him surviving a person eligible to receive letters shall die intestate either within this state or elsewhere leaving any real or personal property within the county and
2. Whenever any personal property of such intestate shall arrive within the county after his death.
3. Whenever all of the surviving relatives are not known the public administrator shall conduct a search for all living distributees of the decedent by reference to bank, postal, and telephone records and inquiry of neighbors, and other reasonable steps under the circumstances. The public administrator shall maintain records of all responses to such notices.
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