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New York Probate Court

A New York Probate Attorney Discusses the Function of the Probate Court

If you have recently lost a friend or loved one, you are likely dealing with a myriad of emotions. During this difficult time, you may be expected to handle your loved one’s estate. If you have found yourself in Probate Court, it is important to speak with a qualified New York Probate Attorney who can help you navigate this complicated area of law. Contact a New York Probate Attorney from our team for guidance. Contending with an estate of a loved one and dealing with the Probate Court can be an overwhelming proposition at this difficult time.

In the state of New York, Probate Court is often referred to as the Surrogate’s Court. Once a loved one passes, you will be required to submit their will and other documents to the Probate Court to open a case. The person that is appointed to handle this matter is called the executor. This person is usually appointed by the decedent in their will. If there was not an executor appointed, the Probate Court will appoint an administrator, who will perform the same function.

The executor or administrator of an estate has very distinct rights and responsibilities. The powers of the executor or administrator only extend to the Probate Estate. The Probate Estate is defined as the property that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Probate Court.

Once appointed, the executor with the assistance of the Probate Court will provide three main functions; collect and inventory the estate’s assets, pay the bills and taxes of the estate, and transfer the estate property the heirs or beneficiaries.

If you are the administrator or executor of an estate, it is important to seek legal guidance. The executor is also considered a beneficiary under the will, and is forbidden to give any particular beneficiary preferential treatment, or self-deal in any way. Unfortunately, this issue comes up often. While the executor is not responsible for satisfying any claims connected to the estate, they do have a duty to perform their assigned tasks to the best of their ability. This concept is referred to as a fiduciary duty. If however, the executor carelessly gives away money to an heir that should have gone to a creditor for instance, it is possible that the executor could be personally liable.

If you are dealing with the Probate Court on an estate matter, or if you or involved in an Inheritance Dispute, or feel that the Probate Property has not been distributed appropriately, it is important to seek legal guidance. Speak with Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for advice and guidance. We will offer you sound legal advice as well as a free consultation. Call us today at 800.696.9529. We have offices to serve you in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island, and in Westchester County. In New York City, we have locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

Client Reviews
Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.