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New York Probate Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are currently in the process of managing another person's probate or are concerned about your own, there’s no doubt that you have questions about the way that probate is approached in New York. What follows are several of the most common questions associated with the probate process and what you should do in order to protect yourself.

How Long Should I Expect Probate to Take?

It is a good idea to factor in a minimum of 7 months before closing the proceeding because this is the cut off point for any creditors to officially lay claims against the estate. This is also most likely the shortest time that it will take to move through probate because it could be much longer in the event that there is disagreement among interested parties.

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What Are the Deadlines to Probate a Will?

There is no official deadline to probate a will in New York but it should be done as soon as possible. If the will is not filed in an appropriate time period and a creditor or a party could be disadvantaged because of this, the court will ultimately penalize the holders of the will and credit the disadvantaged creditor or party.

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What is the Deadline to Conclude Probate?

Probate should be finished within a reasonable amount of time. However, there are numerous factors inside the case that may determine what is reasonable in each individual claim. Disagreements among parties will prolong the process and should warrant the insight of an experienced New York probate attorney.

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What is Probate?

Probate is the official process approving the validity of the last will of a person who has passed away. This occurs in the surrogate's court and can last for up to 18 months in the state of New York. The cost of probate may vary depending on the alleged complexity of the estate. To probate a will, you are typically looking at between 5% and 7% of the total value of the estate. An experienced New York will probate attorney can assist you with the entire process and will likely provide you with a free consultation to better understand what you can expect.

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What You Need to Know About Will Contests?

Will contests can be initiated by any alleged debtor or heir of the estate. The most common reasons for a will contest include fraud, incapacity, improper execution, undue influence, or the documentation of a later will.

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Should I Avoid Probate?

There are many different reasons why individuals wish to avoid probate. Many people find that it is a time-consuming process that could be extremely expensive and take many years. Furthermore, it also removes any layer of privacy that you may have previously associated with your estate planning process. Using trusts and other estate planning vehicles can assist you with planning comprehensively to avoid probate. You can do yourself and your beneficiaries a favor by consulting with an experienced New York Estate planning attorney today to uncover the process of probate.

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How Can a New York Probate Attorney Help You?

There are many different roles that can be served by a New York probate attorney well in advance whether it relates to probating a loved one's estate or avoiding probate for your own estate. Some of the most common ways in which a New York probate lawyer can help you include:

  • Providing representation and experience with a probate surrogate court in New York City and surrounding areas.
  • Representing those individuals who believe they have grounds to pursue a will contest.
  • Filing and preparing the appropriate petition with the surrogate's court.
  • Determining which administration or petition probate to file in surrogate court and in which county such a petition should be filed.
  • Providing comprehensive support for an executor or administrator in dealing with the estate, including the sale of estate assets, the payment of estate debts to appropriate creditors, the payment of estate taxes, and final distribution of estate assets to heirs.

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What Are Some of the Most Common Reasons for Hiring a New York Probate Attorney?

Many individuals who need estate planning done for their relatives who are disabled and unable to come to an office themselves, or those who left a will in New York, can benefit from contacting an experienced New York probate attorney. A knowledgeable estate attorney can assist with drafting an appropriate durable power of attorney as well as relevant wills and trusts to avoid the complicated legal process of probate in New York.

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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.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin