and Your Family
New York Estate Probate Lawyer
Estate probate in New York is a legal process that involves the administration of a deceased person's estate. It is the process by which a court supervises the distribution of a decedent's assets according to their will or the laws of intestacy. This involves the appointment of a representative, the identification of assets and creditors, the payment of debts, and the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. If you have questions about estate probate and the administration of a loved one’s estate, contact a skilled New York probate lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience, our team has the knowledge and resources to help.Steps in the Estate Probate and Administration Process
The following are the key steps in the estate probate process in New York:
- Filing a Petition for Probate: The first step in the probate process is to file a petition for probate with the Surrogate's Court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of death. The petition will include information about the decedent, their will (if there is one), and the proposed representative. Note that if the decedent did not leave a will, contact an experienced New York probate lawyer to explain the steps to initiate the administration process.
- Appointment of a Representative: The court will appoint a representative, also known as an executor or administrator, to administer the estate. The representative is responsible for managing the estate, paying debts and taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
- Identification of Assets and Creditors: The representative is responsible for identifying and gathering all of the decedent's assets, including bank accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property. They must also identify and notify all of the decedent's creditors, including any outstanding debts or liabilities.
- Payment of Debts and Taxes: The representative is responsible for paying all outstanding debts and taxes owed by the decedent and the estate. This includes filing tax returns and paying any taxes owed, as well as settling outstanding bills or debts.
- Distribution of Assets: Once all debts and taxes have been paid, the representative can distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will or the laws of intestacy.
It is worth noting that not all estates require probate. If the decedent's assets were held in joint tenancy or a trust, for example, the assets may pass directly to the surviving joint tenant or trustee without the need for probate.Types of Probate in New York
In New York, there are two types of probate: formal probate and voluntary administration. Formal probate is the traditional probate process, which involves court supervision and is required in most cases. Voluntary administration is a simplified probate process that is available for small estates, with assets of less than $30,000. To learn more about the small estate process and to find if your loved one’s estate qualifies, contact a knowledgeable probate attorney in New York.Notable New York Cases About Estate Probate
- In re Wightman, 72 Misc.3d 1205 (2020) - This case dealt with the issue of whether a handwritten document constituted a valid will, as well as the distribution of the decedent's estate.
- Matter of Feggins, 2019 NY Slip Op 29277 - This case involved a small estate proceeding where the decedent's assets were valued at less than $30,000. The court discussed the requirements for a small estate affidavit and the rights of the decedent's creditors.
- Estate of Krysztofowicz, 70 Misc.3d 1202 (2020) - This case dealt with the issue of whether a small estate affidavit could be used to transfer title to real property. The court found that a small estate affidavit could not be used to transfer title to real property without a court order.
- Estate of Fasano, 2020 NY Slip Op 51406(U) - In this case, the court considered the validity of a small estate affidavit and the distribution of the decedent's assets to his surviving spouse and children.
Estate probate is a crucial process for administering a deceased person's estate in New York. It involves the appointment of a representative, the identification of assets and creditors, the payment of debts and taxes, and the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. If you have questions or concerns about the estate probate process in New York, it is recommended that you consult with a knowledgeable probate attorney serving New York who can provide legal guidance and support. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Long Island, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.