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19 percent of the conflicts during the probate period arose due to perceived executor misconduct.

Marianna Schwartsman

Probate Lawyer New York

Choose us for Estate Planning in Brooklyn

For decades, we have been serving the legal needs of New York. We provide probate services, often to several generations of the same family, whether for planning or during times of crisis. We are proud to offer you expert probate lawyers New York services.

The death of a loved one is a door that leads to closeness for some families, and divisions in other families. With an estate plan, it becomes easier to pass on property to beneficiaries when you are long gone. However, not all estate plans are solid, which means your estate has to go through probate for fair distribution.

As probate lawyers in new york, we understand the probate process, and we know its advantages and disadvantages. We understand when you should go to probate and when it isn’t necessary to do so. We are here to help you navigate the often murky waters of a probate process.

Probate Administration in New York

Probating of your estate isn’t your responsibility because it cannot take place while you are alive. Since it will take care of your survivors, your role as the estate owner is to make sure your family is well taken care of after you pass away. You can make it easy for them by having a valid will and beneficiary designations that are clear.

Why should probate be avoided? Well, probate is the procedure whereby the court supervises the distribution of your wealth according to your will or the state’s rules.

The formal probate process is usually expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating at the list. To begin the process, the probate judge has to appoint the executor to manage, liquidate, and finally distribute it. He executor also has to notify the creditors that your estate is open, and invite them to submit claims against the estate.

In addition to the costs and the emotional toll, probate comes with other disadvantages. For one, since the process is a matter of public record, anyone can find out about your estate, what you owned, your debts, and who you left the assets to. The information is a recipe for illegitimate and legitimate claims against your estate, and it can also expose your beneficiaries to an unwanted solicitation from charities and other schemers.

You might think that an executor will handle the estate the way you want them to, but this is not always the case – you need a legal eye to monitor the use of the assets. This is where probate lawyers New York services come into the picture.

Many times your probate estate might include securities and other properties that the executor is unfamiliar with. When this happens, you need to have someone to guide the executor – us.

All these factors make the avoidance of probate the number one priority. If by bad luck the property goes to probate, you need a probate lawyer who will make things easy for your beneficiaries.

It Is Not All about Value

The need for probate might not be directly related to the value of the estate. You might find that a multi-million dollar estate bypasses probate easily while an estate worth $50,000 might have to undergo a full probate administration.

When trying to avoid probation, you need to understand that it involves only the assets that you own solely at the time of death. Any asset that you give away hold in pay-on-death accounts, or place in joint ownership don’t go through probate.

So, to avoid probate, work with us to rearrange the ownership of most of your assets without giving up control or the income they produce.

However, it is not practical for you to get rid of all your assets just to bypass probate, and this isn’t all necessary. The state of new york provides a simple and effective way to avoid probate on “small estates” without the need to go to probate. You can avoid the expenses and the delay of other probate problems by retitling your properties and retaining your names on the property whose value doesn’t exceed the $200,000 limits that the state imposes on small estates.

To make things work for you, call us today to advise you on what to do with your assets.

Is Probate Necessary in New York?

The basic purposes of probate administration are to determine if the will is valid or not and to protect the property that has been left for minors. It also serves to see that the debts are paid, taxes cleared, and then distribute the remainder of the assets to the heirs as specified by the will or new york intestacy laws.

If the decedent left behind no kids, no asset – because maybe at the time of death he had no possessions or he had given away all his possessions, then there is no need for the probate process because there is nothing to give away.

Some form of the probate process is necessary, though, in the following circumstances. In most situations, the estate can be handled using procedures that are easier, quicker, and cheaper than the full probate administration.

Simultaneous Death of Parents to Minors

Life is unpredictable, and it isn’t uncommon for death to occur simultaneously, whether in an accident or a calamity. The probate court comes in to appoint a guardian to take care of the minors. If the inheritance is substantial, then a conservator is left behind to manage the property on behalf of the minors until adulthood. If the estate is small, then it can be eligible for an informal small-estate transfer.

Wrongful Death Suspicions

If the decedent passed away in circumstances that give rise to a wrongful death claim, then the probate court might be required to appoint the executor to look into the claim, initiate a lawsuit, sign the settlement and release the papers if the money damages aren’t recovered. After this, the executor has to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries as per the will.

If the Decedent Left Behind Probate Assets

If the decedent passed on and left behind probate assets, then the probate court might need to appoint an executor to collect them, protect them and manage these assets, pay off any debts and distribute the remaining to the beneficiaries.

Complicated Estate Administration

The complexity of any estate depends on the following aspects:

  • Whether the decedent left a will or not, and whether the will is valid or invalid.
  • Whether the decedent named an executor in the will or not.
  • The nature of the deceased person’s possessions.
  • The presence of creditor claims,
  • The location of the assets.
  • The residence of the decedent before he died.

All these and more can make an estate administration probate easy to hard. Talk to us to enjoy probate lawyers New York services and to know whether you are dealing with a complicated or straightforward probate estate.

Blended Families and Probate

Blended families pose the biggest problem in probate court – they fight a lot.

The joy of finding love for another time and establishing another family has proven tricky in probate court. This joy will turn into pressures when the realities are revealed in h court. Multiple relationships turn out to be multiple potential causes of risks in probate court. Issues usually arise between the spouses or children of different marriages.

We have dealt with blended families before, and e know what happens. Consult us if you find yourself in a tricky probate situation involving blended families.

People in blended families facing an intestate succession battle have a lot of questions regarding who gets what is under the new york probate law. This can cause unnecessary conflicts in the wake of tragic loss.

The distribution of the assets will depend on the type of property in question. Usually, the court handles the estate the same way it handles property in a divorce. The first step the court will make is to determine what property goes through probate and what doesn’t.

The intestate distribution of property varies depending on the kids in each marriage. Talk to us to understand what happens in such a situation and what you might stand to get from the estate.

Working with a Lawyer

Whether you have been named as an executor in a will or you expect to receive an inheritance as an heir, you need to understand the nature of the executor’s duties concerning probate. Usually, the executor handles the estate on behalf of the decedent according to the will and the probate laws of new york.

A probate lawyer in new york takes on your probate legal burdens and will explain the executor’s duties concerning probate. We have handled many clients in all areas of probate, representing beneficiaries and executors for many years. Contact us to set up a consultation to learn about the duties of the executor in new york.

Our Role in Probate Administration

So, what do we do to make the probate administration easy for you?

Creating a last will

We start working with you way before your demise. This is because we understand that what you do now ill impact what happens after you are gone. The first step is to help you create a last will so that your family can have some security when you pass away.

We know how important the Will is to the whole probate process, and we make sure that you come up with the best will that will stand the probate process.

Preparing and Filing Documents Required by the Probate Court

The period after the loss of a loved one can be a tough time for many people. You don’t need to be told, but it takes a huge toll on your emotions and finances. You don’t want to be burdened by other issues when you are grieving, the reason why you need to have someone to take care of the various tasks, especially with the many deadlines associated with them.

The probate lawyer can help you prepare and file the documents needed by the probate court to begin the probate process. Remember that you have a set time to submit the petitions otherwise, they won’t be admitted to court.

Ancillary Probation

What will you do when you are told that the decedent had property outside the state that you need to distribute? For many people, they are stuck in a dilemma, not knowing where to start.

This situation requires what is known as ancillary probate, which is simply a probate process in another state or county. If you are a non-resident seeking to execute the estate in new york, then we can act as your ancillary probate lawyers to execute proceedings on your behalf.

On the other hand, if you need to execute probate proceedings in another state, we can help connect you to a probate attorney so that you can proceed. Either way, we can help you handle the process the right way.

Making sure everything is handled the right way before moving to another step is a crucial part of our work. Legal proceedings are our forte because we are in close contact with the various parties tasked with probate, and we know who deals with what in the state. We know everything that needs to be done so that we probate the estate promptly.

If you need on-demand tailored probate solutions and tools that help you reduce the probate duration, you have come to the right place!

As top probate lawyers New York has to offer, we give you all the resources and information to make your probate journey quick and fast – giving you the probability of a positive outcome.

Why Choose Our Services?

Once you lose a loved one, there are several actions you need to take to administer the deceased’s estate. Some of these actions can only be permitted with the permission of the probate court.

In case you lost a loved one recently but do not know what steps you should take to administer their estate, we can assist. Probate proceedings consist of numerous activities – from preparing the necessary forms, to generating reports, filing documents to the court, and serving notices.

We help you complete these activities in an efficient and painless process. When working with us, you do not need to step back from your family and official duties to follow up on probate court proceedings.

Since you must comply with all court requirements regarding deadlines and schedules, we ensure that this is achieved effortlessly.

Given that there are several other practices out there with a good reputation, you may be wondering what makes us stand out. Here is what makes us your best choice when it comes to representing your case.

We Take Care of Everything on Your Behalf

We understand your duties and responsibilities either as the beneficiary, executor, or representative of your loved one’s estate. We also understand that you already have other matters to handle, given that you just lost a loved one recently.

Our team does all they can to ensure that the burden of probate is lifted off your shoulders. There are so many lawyers out there who can take your case without a second thought. However, it is only a qualified probate lawyer who possesses the practical skills necessary for handling the probate process.

We understand that your case is unique, and will not handle it on a trial-and-error basis. We are specialized in probate and understand what is required in each case. We do not allow individuals who are not experienced in probate to handle your case.

We Limit Personal Liability

During the probate proofing, liabilities may arise with or without your knowledge. Everyone is bound to making errors, especially where payments and reports are involved.

We do our best to ensure that none of the individuals working on your probate case make legal mistakes. We engage these individuals on an ongoing basis, while also ensuring that they fulfill their responsibilities in the case.

We follow up on each action and inform you of what is needed before such actions are taken. We make sure that court notices are given to the right individuals through the right channels.

We do not allow the executor or personal representative of your estate to struggle on their own. We are selfless when it comes to supporting you and your family.

We Facilitate Faster Resolution

Any time you try and administer an estate on your own, you will probably use DIY legal procedures that have not been tested before. This may not be wise since you may end up spending more time and money on the case.

Our firm uses proven legal procedures that have been successfully applied to probate cases. We are experts at assessing the complexity of the process and choosing the right strategies on your behalf.

We also know that probate involves too much detail that must be handled keenly. We save you the hassle of understanding all these details, especially if you do not have any legal experience.

With our knowledgeable team, we expedite the proceedings in your favour and within no time, you will be able to see the importance of working with us.

We Provide Timely Solutions

Do you know that you can have everything needed for probate and still experience delays in court? This is a very common occurrence. We are experienced at reducing the timeframe needed for the court to resolve your case.

We emphasize to our clients the need to make early and right preparations before filing probate in court. We prepare the necessary documents before a deadline is reached. In case some dates need to be changed, we approach the court in good time to ensure that no liability is incurred.

Working with us ensures that you receive a solution to any probate challenges in an efficient, timely and professional manner.

We Understand Our Requirements

Having been in practice for so many years, we understand what deliverables you need from us. We do not wait for you to give us direction on what should be done. We already have experience handling similar cases and are capable of coming up with a successful work plan.

If a dispute has occurred, we first establish the source of the dispute before advising you on the next course of action. We do not rely on third-party firms to provide you with the necessary assistance.

All our services are provided in-house. This simply means that you will find assistance as soon as you consult us. We understand clearly what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to your case.

Our team of probate lawyers has been trained not to take unnecessary shortcuts when dealing with clients. We do not allow disputes to remain unresolved for long since this can cause unnecessary liabilities and expenses.

We Get Your Concerns Addressed

It is normal to feel confused about the entire probate process, especially if you have never lost a close relative. We make things easy for you by responding to all your concerns.

We provide our clients with all the details they need to make informed decisions. We allow you to pose any kind of questions and use our legal expertise to offer you the best way to address your challenges.

We are experienced in offering legal counsel relating to probate. By talking to us, you are assured of peace of mind since we always exhaust all options when it comes to handling any probate issues.

Our instructions to you, the executor, or personal representative are given in easy-to-follow steps. For clients who do not understand legal terms, we simplify our communication to understand what is required of them fully.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A typical probate process is carried out as follows:

  • Filing a petition in court
  • The naming of a representative or executor
  • Application for a letter of administration, or a grant of probate by the estate representative
  • Valuation of estate assets
  • Making inheritance tax payments
  • Selling estate property that needs to be disposed of
  • Settling any debts owed by the deceased
  • Reconciling accounts of the estate as a way of establishing how much has been spent since probate began
  • Sharing the remaining assets to the legal beneficiaries

Probate, in itself does not have a time limit. However, there are various stages of the process that need to be completed within certain timeframes. One of them is the payment of inheritance tax, which must be done within six months after the death of a loved one.

The court will also give you deadlines when it comes to presenting the necessary paperwork and settling creditor debts. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you may attract legal action.

In case you are concerned that your probate case is taking too long, you may need to find out what is causing the delay. If the executor is not performing their duties, you may need to replace them or hire professional probate lawyers New York offers to guide them through the process.

The kind of action you need to take in this case depends on several factors. If a beneficiary passes on before the testator, there is still an opportunity for the will to be changed. This can only happen if the testator is not incapacitated in any way. Otherwise, there is nothing that can be done.

If the beneficiary dies in the probate course, their inheritance will be distributed among the surviving beneficiaries. However, this rarely happens. In case you find yourself in such a situation, be sure to discuss it with a qualified attorney.

If you are the personal representative or executor of a decedent’s estate, you need to understand that anyone can contest the will during the probate process. If you are not sure what needs to be done with such contests, be sure to get legal advice once this happens.

Contests filed in court are different from ordinary family disputes that can be settled at home. If you do not understand the legal implications associated with will contests, discuss your concerns with an attorney to establish the right course of action. 

Although it is almost impossible to avoid probate completely, proper estate planning can ensure that the time and resources spent in the process reduce significantly.

One estate planning strategy that secures your assets from probate is the use of revocable living trusts. You may also place your estate under joint ownership; place them under retirement accounts or insurance policies to facilitate beneficiary designations that can bypass probate.

Using these strategies ensures that your estate value remains intact after death since there will be no need for probate and other legal fees associated with the process.
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