and Your Family
Suffolk County Probate Property
Probate is the process of winding up a decedent's estate and distributing the estate's assets based on the directions in the will. The executor named in the will is responsible for inventorying the decedent's assets, having them appraised, paying estate debts, settling claims, and ultimately distributing assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. However, only property that is classified as probate property will subject to probate. Any other property that is in your estate upon your death will not be subject to probate and will pass the appropriate beneficiaries immediately. It is important to understand which property in your estate is probate property as that property will not be distributed to beneficiaries immediately. Probate generally takes 7-10 months, and sometimes takes longer. If you are concerned about how probate works and which property in your estate will be subject to probate, immediately contact a Suffolk County probate property lawyer to review your estate plan.Probate property
Probate property includes real estate, personal property such as furniture, jewelry and cards, bank accounts, investment accounts, and your interest in a partnership or corporation. This type of property can be bequeathed to someone through your will. If you do not have a will, the property in your probate estate will pass to your legal heirs based on New York's rules of intestate succession.Non-probate property
Non-probate property is property that for any of a number of possible reasons will legally pass to another person regardless of what you state in your will. Examples of non-probate property includes real estate and other property that you own in joint tenancy with others, payable on demand financial accounts, property held in trust, life insurance policy proceeds, and retirement accounts.
If you want this type of property to go to a specific person, it is important that you discuss your wishes with a skilled Suffolk County probate property attorney. Depending on the nature of the property there may be able to change the beneficiary designation or make some other type of change during your lifetime to ensure that the people you want receive the property.Avoiding probate
As a probate property attorney in Suffolk County will explain, while probate can be a straightforward process, it is rarely a short process. During probate your executor gathers your property, inventories it, appraises it, pays your estate bills, and distributes your assets. During this process a number of things can occur to extend probate and delay the distribution of assets. For example, an heir may contest the will leading to probate litigation. What should be a 7-10 month process could extend well over a year. As a result there your beneficiaries may have to wait to receive the assets you left to them. The best way to avoid probate or to minimize the affect probate has on your estate is to minimize the amount of assets that are part of your probate estate.Keeping your estate plan updated
Regardless of whether your property is probate property or non-probate property, it is important that you regularly review your estate planning documents, and that you make sure that they are up-to-date. Changes in your family relationships and financial situation may necessitate you making changes to your will, trust, life insurance policies, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
In order to ensure that your estate plan is designed based on the types of property that you own as well as your estate planning goals, it is important that you work with an experienced probate property attorney serving Suffolk County. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience working closely with client to develop customized wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.