Stephen Bilkis
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Staten Island Surrogate Court

Do you have an issue pending in front of the Staten Island Surrogate Court? Or do you think you need to file paperwork because of an upcoming issue? If so, now is the time to set aside to get help with your case and to file an official claim or be represented by a lawyer.

Staten Island, like other locations throughout New York, requires that a person probating an estate there or raising a dispute over a probate being closed out in Staten Island, end up in the Surrogate Court for that area. Each county throughout New York has a surrogate court, and this is where issues like probate, guardianship, and adoption are managed.

You might also be a beneficiary who is not playing the role of executor in a will probate, but has questions about how the current executor has managed the funds. A person who has an interest in the estate is able to ask for what’s known as an accounting. This is where the executor shares details about where the funds inside the estate have gone, including payments to themselves.

There are strict rules about what an executor must do in closing out an estate. A variety of different tasks need to be accomplished, and because of this, an executor is eligible to get paid for their work. But the executor cannot transfer funds to their own name or make other unexpected transfers since this information is included in the accounting.

After stepping in as the administrator of the estate, the executor has to carry out a number of tasks relatively quickly. This is known as probating the estate. Along this time period, it can also become the case that another party brings forward a dispute like a will challenge. The executor will also be involved in handling these kinds of issues, too. No matter how you end up in front of this kind of court, you must be ready to bring evidence to present. If you are the person alleging that the will is invalid, it falls to you to be able to show why you think this. The sooner you can talk to a lawyer, the easier it will be to get help with your overall claim.

The executor has to do things like reviewing all of the assets inside the estate and putting together an inventory. This information is then used to review what claims to the estate have to be paid out right away to creditors or taxes. Furthermore, this person appointed as the fiduciary should have great organizational skills to keep track of all these details and to remark when various payments are made. The executor has to file the final tax return for the estate. After all of these priority duties have been address, the job becomes to distribute the remaining property to the beneficiaries inside the estate in according with the wishes of the deceased.

The executor’s work should be completed in a reasonable timeframe, allowing for additional delays if disputes are filed by beneficiaries alleging they need an estate accounting or challenging the will.

There are rules on the books about how much an executor can get paid. Each state has their own approach to this. Some allow hourly charges. In the state of New York, however, an executor’s fees are based on the value of the assets inside that probated estate. It’s important to note this since not all assets, like life insurance policies, are inside the estate. From that, the executor can get paid since New York law recognizes all the roles paid.

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.
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