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Studies show that 60 percent of Americans don’t have a will. A whopping 78 percent of people aged between 18 and 36 years also don’t have a will. The studies further show that 64 percent of those aged between 37 and 52 don’t have a will.
ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER

Marianna Schwartsman

At our firm, we help you to protect what is important to you and your loved ones. We trust in ourselves to provide expert legal services in probate law.

Navigating the nuances of New York probate law can be tough for anyone. When you engage with the best probate New York lawyer, you get total access to one of the state’s board-certified experts and a legal team dedicated to guiding you to enjoy the best outcome possible.

While you will be assigned a lawyer to your case when you decide to work with some practices, we believe in a team approach to deliver the legal services you need. This allows us to deliver effective and efficient probate services to every client, regardless of the problem.

Probate Administration in New York

When a person dies in New York, the incident can be traumatic to the family. Unfortunately, when you add in the process of dealing with probate issues makes the whole thing worse. You get confused over what to do next.

You need someone that can handle the issue without any emotion attached. The best New York probate lawyer makes sure you grieve in peace while making things work for you during the probate process.

Probate law is one of the practice areas in the firm. Our probate lawyer is an expert in the probate field, and he works in the probate court regularly. When you have lost a loved one, we can help you by providing prompt and professional service.

When to Contact a Probate New York Lawyer after a Loved One Passes Away

After you have notified the relevant authorities and the family members, you need to contact all the entities that handle the decedent’s personal affairs. These include a probate lawyer and other agencies.

Navigating the legal hurdles when a loved one passes on can be a hard task. We have assisted countless new Yorkers in getting through the probate process and getting their lives back so that they grieve in peace and keep their legacy alive. If you have a loved one who has passed away, call us today to work with a professional lawyer.

What is New York Probate?

Probate refers to the legal process associated with having a decedent’s assets transferred to the persons that are legally entitled to the property. It also involves filing applications to the court to declare the person dead and open their estate to administer their last will. 

If there is no will to be administered, the process then goes to the probate court. The applicant has to ask the surrogate court in new york to determine the estate’s beneficiaries so that they can get their share of the property.

Unlike probate in many other states, the new york probate process is normally simple and straightforward. If the decedent has a valid will and followed the right process to come up with it, then the process is efficient and less costly.

Our Approach to Probate

We know that times are hard. And when you lose a loved one, you don’t want to be slapped with bills or spend a lot of money dealing with solicitors in probate court. For this reason, we have a proven approach that we use in each case. We aim to make the process short and reduce costs to a minimum.

Our role as probate lawyers varies from case to case. It also depends upon the client – which in this case might be the beneficiary or the executor. However, other people depend on the actions that we take.

When you lose a loved one and know that the estate will be opened, our first role is to facilitate communication among the interested parties. This is not a required role, but convening a meeting for the interested parties isn’t such a bad idea. This can be the only chance to meet with your relatives and other people that are after the estate. You will also find that there is a lot of misinformation that needs correction.

The estate process usually takes time. We need to explain this time limit to the family so that they don’t put a lot of pressure on the executor and other parties. We also take this chance to encourage all the members of the family to communicate with other members. The lack of communication is usually the reason that leads to estate battles.

As with disputes between friends, the best way to avoid issues during the probate process is to handle it before it occurs. We can do this in the planning process.

We handle every case differently, but regardless of this, we have a general outline on the process that we follow:

Fact-Finding

This is the first step that we perform, and it can involve you coming to the office or holding up somewhere, talking to us on the phone. The aim is to discuss the case in depth with you to tell you whether you can go ahead or not.

We take time to weigh the pros and cons of going ahead with the case and advice you accordingly.

Once you retain us as the law firm to assist with probate, we provide you with a form to complete and return. The form provides the information we need to begin the probate process.

Filing the Will for Probate

After drafting the application that opens the estate in court, we file it with the appropriate organization. The law has a rule that we have to wait for ten days, after which the case is set for hearing before a probate judge. The conclusion of this hearing is the appointment of a personal representative by the court. This person is given letters testamentary that give him the authority to oversee the estate.

Once the will is admitted to probate, whether formally or informally, the court will issue letters of personal representative. If there is a bond needed, then the bond has to be filed with the probate court before these letters are issued. These letters are proof that the personal representative has been appointed and can serve during this process.

Handling Notices

Our role is to make sure that you give the relevant notices to the interested parties. With your help, we do this for you. Once the will gets admitted to probate, then notice has to be given to apparent heirs, devisees, creditors and others as required by the court.

Managing Inventory

Within 90 days of your appointment, you, as the executor, need to file an inventory with the probate court. The inventory plays two purposes. First, it lets the court understand what properties are subject to the probate process and secondly, it lets the court know what assets are subject to tax.

The inventory is a listing of the assets that the decedent has left behind and their values at his time of death.

Handling Creditors

This is a challenging part because some creditor claims aren’t legit. At this stage of the process, you are required to determine if a claim is valid or not. The probate lawyer in New York helps you determine the validity of the claims from creditors.

Claims can be filed against the estate during the probate period. Creditors have sixty days to act after getting the notice that you put in the media. The creditor can file a claim in the probate estate or by suing the personal representative.

We aim to make sure you only pay the creditors with valid claims so that you have a rightful share for you and other beneficiaries at the end of the day.

Distribution of Assets

The personal representative has full authority to sell the assets though they have to get the court’s permission first. The primary distribution method is to be an in-kind distribution. You can always make distributions, but make sure that you have more so that you clear all debts early enough before you distribute.

At this stage, all we can do is provide detailed guidance to you regarding transferring the assets effectively to the beneficiaries.

When the distributions are made, the estate is closed informally. As an executor, you need to itemize everything in writing and file it in court. Make sure you have documentary evidence that shows that you gave out the property.

You have to file the final accounting with the probate court. The accounting is just an itemized listing showing all the transactions.

Probate with a Will in New York

Do you need to probate a will in New York? Has the probate court handed you a Letter Testamentary? Probate refers to a process that is aimed at authenticates the last will of a decedent.

Your role as an executor is to determine the value of the decedent’s estate, clearing any pending debts, and then distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

Even with a will present, probate can be a tough task to handle. Working with an experienced probate New York lawyer makes sure everything you do goes smoothly, with the best outcome in mind.

Probate Without a Will in New York

Do you have a loved one that passed on without leaving a will behind? Are you worried the state of new york could take everything? Rest assured that the law doesn’t allow the state to take over the estate unless there is no one to pass it to.

There is a legal process used to pass the estate to the beneficiaries, even when there is no will to act as a reference. When a person dies without leaving a will behind, they are said to have died “intestate.”

When a person dies intestate, it means that there is no one that the decedent nominated to act as an executor. This means it is up to the probate court in new york to appoint someone to handle the role. This can be the spouse or a close relative to the decedent.

Probate Litigation

As harrowing as it can be, it isn’t uncommon for people to get a piece of the estate when they weren’t meant to get any. Whether it is a sibling or an uncle, we have seen instances where estates fell into disarray just because one person wasn’t satisfied with their share of the inheritance.

Probate litigation usually involves many people that are competing for the same assets, for instance, a house or cash. It often involves false information on the part of the person challenging the case to prove their point. At other times, it involves undue influence over the decedent during their last days.

No matter what comes up during the contest, whenever these issues arise, you need a probate lawyer in New York who is familiar with this issue and will defend your rights aggressively. Our probate lawyer can assist you.

When is Probate Litigation Necessary?

There are several instances when probate litigation is necessary for New York. When you feel your issue is gravitating towards litigation, you need to consult an experienced probate lawyer in new york. We shall review your case then determine what the best solution would be.

Some of the scenarios that would warrant probate litigation in New York include:

  • You believe that the will is invalid, or it was forged by someone else.
  • The will and other documents were signed when the decedent had passed away, or he was incapacitated.
  • You believe that one of the interested parties had undue influence over the decedent to make them sign the will.
  • Some assets are missing from the estate.
  • You suspect that the executor took over the possession of an asset or improperly disposed of it without due permission.
  • You are concerned about some of the creditor’s claims against the estate.

How to Get the Best Out of Our Interaction

So you have decided that we shall represent you, now what? Well, we want you to get the best out of the work we do for you. Here are tips to help you enjoy your interaction with us.

Engage Us As soon as Potential Litigation Arises

Before the complainant lodges any complaints, we always try to resolve issues without going to court. This is a good way to reduce the costs associated with any case.

For instance, many people that opt to got court usually provide documents that later harm their case. Additionally, people who wait until the last minute to engage us usually lack time to negotiate for out-of-court settlements and end up in probate.

So, when you notice a problem that will lead to probate litigation, contact us immediately.

Find Out More About Us

Before we handle the issue that is causing you sleepless nights, get some time to understand how we operate when handling cases. One of the pieces of information you need to have at hand is the fee system. Call us to understand the different billing strategies we have and how you wish to be charged.

It is also good to understand what you will be charged because it will help you develop a budget. The more information you have ahead of time, the better you will handle the issue with us.

We might not give you an exact estimate fo the cost because what we charge you depends a lot on the case at hand. If it is simple, then we won’t charge you much. When things become complicated, then the work involved becomes more, and we charge you a little bit more.

Carry Along Copies of All Records

Make sure you bring all the records to the first meeting so that we won’t have to make unnecessary phone calls about missing documents.

Share Costs with Someone else

Probate cases can be expensive, especially when they drag on for a long time. We advise that you split the costs with someone else with the same interest in the case, for instance, contesting the will. However, before you share the costs with someone else, make sure you aren’t in conflict with the person.

Why Should You Opt for Our Services?

When choosing a law firm to assist you with the probate process, getting one that has competent and knowledgeable professionals is very important. You should not wait until it is too late to start preparing the legal paperwork for your estate.

We can assist you in putting the right legal framework in place for yourself and your loved one in case they become too incapacitated to take care of their estate. We can particularly assist you in managing probate affairs in a way that is more convenient and effective.

When choosing a legal representative to assist you with probate, you want to have someone that has the right kind of expertise to handle such matters. You can consult our practice early enough to maximize the available options to help you make the right decisions.

Several reasons make people choose us over other legal practitioners. Here are some of them.

We Have a Track Record in Handling Probate Matters

When it comes to handling probate issues, you will require a qualified lawyer with the right experience in handling the process.

We have experience handling tough probate cases and can speak to you about what we have been able to settle in the past.

For estates where probate is needed, you or the executor may not be able to carry out the necessary actions required in administering the estate. You need to follow every directive given to you by the court. If you are not conversant with the probate process, you may find it hard to meet deadlines, prepare the right documents, and submit them to court.

Our team of experts works around the clock to ensure that you do not miss any court appointments and present the right documents.

We form Excellent Partnerships with Your Administrators

Without the right advice, your personal representative or executor can end up making errors. This is more likely to happen if the two do not understand how the probate court operates. Some of these mistakes may arise when administering the assets, generating reports, or even when paying creditors.

When given an opportunity, we liaise with the executor or personal representative of your estate to avoid these errors. We advise them on when they should consult the court before carrying out certain activities on the estate.

We also provide you with the right channels to use when passing information to other parties involved in the case.

We Make the Whole Process Shorter

The probate process can take longer if you do not have the right kind of legal information. This is especially true if the executor does not make adequate preparations for the case.

Our practice takes this burden off your shoulders. We are experienced in preparing the right documents necessary for initiating probate. We always strive towards giving timely notice to all the parties involved in the case. Where certain signatures are required before making decisions, we ensure that you get these in advance so that the process does not stall along the way.

Our team also makes sure that you file appropriate paperwork before every deadline to avoid any penalties associated with not meeting these deadlines.

In cases where the deadline is fast approaching, and the necessary documents are not ready, you can trust us to negotiate with the court and come up with an alternative date that favours you.

We Save Your Time

When you have a probate case ongoing, you may need to spend most of your time gathering assets, updating records, and paying creditors. If this happens, you may not have enough time to take care of your family or plan the funeral of your loved one.

Hiring us saves you from this kind of hassle. Those who have worked with us before can testify how we saved them a lot of time.

It is almost impossible for an executor who does not understand probate court procedures to learn while the case is ongoing. With our help, you are sure to generate the right accounting, inventory, and legal forms that meet the probate court’s standards.

We Eliminate the Possibility of Disputes

As we work on your case, we minimize the possibility of litigation. We make sure that the probate process is handled quickly and efficiently by one of our lawyers. We achieve this through:

  • Involving heirs and creditors in the case only at the right time
  • Minimizing the chance for any other interested parties to request supervised administration of the estate by the probate court
  • Diminishing the possibility of such parties filing expensive lawsuits against the estate
  • Resolving conflicts early in the probate process as a way of minimizing the expenses involved

We Shield your Family from Stress

One advantage of working with us is to speed up the entire probate process. As we handle your case, we minimize the time you need to spend on the case.

We have a strong network of lawyers that professionally handle family disputes. These lawyers ensure that your family undergoes less stress during this period by:

  • Offering expert legal and financial advice where money is involved
  • Preventing the executor from acting in their best interest instead of the interests of the beneficiaries
  • Acting as mediators between conflicting family members, or between the beneficiaries and the executor

Our Practice is Highly Recommended

Our firm has a reputation for high customer satisfaction. If you ask around, at least one of your friends, relatives, or colleagues will recommend us as one of the best legal service providers.

We are known for qualified and experienced lawyers who offer the best services at affordable fees. All of our lawyers are well conversant with legal as well as statutory laws that govern probate procedures.

We have learned to appreciate the fact that no probate case is the same. This helps us to come up with tailored solutions for each of our clients. We do not take any case lightly, however simple it appears to be. We work hard to ensure that you receive the best services and counsel.

Estate planning lawyer

Frequently Asked Questions

This is called dying intestate or intestacy; passing away without a valid will can bring up serious implications for your loved ones and your estate. In this situation, the law dictates how your estate will be distributed, and you should never assume that your loved ones will benefit automatically.

It might even mean that your loved ones end up not receiving anything or that your estate ends up with high costs. If you pass on without a will or if the will is invalid and you don’t have any immediate relatives, the estate will go to the government.

As probate lawyers in NYC, we cannot stress the importance of making your will. This saves your family from further distress, but it also ensures that the estate is distributed according to your desires.

Several situations allow you to challenge the will during probate. First, if the will is not valid or has errors, you can challenge it to correct the errors. You can also dispute the process if you aren’t happy with the executor. However, you need to know that the more the disputes, the longer the probate process will take.

Property that is jointly owned and those used to fund certain types of trusts don’t have to undergo probate. For example, if you own a home jointly with your spouse and the spouse survives you, the property won’t go through probate unless your spouse passes away. If you pass away and leave your spouse, the property will pass automatically to the surviving spouse.

If you cannot find the will in the possessions of the decedent (safe or cabinet), you can ask his solicitor, bank or a company that stores wills in the locality.

The court’s clerk will tell you if the will you have in your possession is valid or not, and gives you the reasons why. Remember, there are many reasons why the will can be invalid; for instance, it lacks the signature of witnesses, or the testator hasn’t signed it. It can also be invalid if it is proven that the testator wasn’t of sound mind when they signed the will.

Anytime you need the best solution to probate issues, you will find it here. It doesn't matter what your estate looks like – we got you covered with expert solutions.
ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER

Marianna Schwartsman

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