Estates and Probate

Probate is the process of proving that a Will is valid in accordance with New York State law.  It is a court-supervised process of gathering the deceased's assets and distributing them to creditors and inheritors.

Once the Surrogate's Court has determined that a Will is valid, the Executor or Executrix named in the Will is appointed to distribute the estate.  

For a will to be valid, it must be properly executed and accurately reflect the wishes of the individual.  The Will has no legal effect until it is admitted into probate.

Do I need an attorney?

There is no requirement that you have an attorney.  Many people are able to successfully handle a simple probate without the assistance of a lawyer.  An estate can be administered as a "simple probate" proceeding when the deceased passed possessing assets totaling $30,000.00 or greater.

However, many probate matters are challenging and may require the assistance of legal counsel.  Probate can be a lengthy process, especially when there are complications - such as an individual challenging the validity of the Will.  

What we will do:

- draft and file documents to appoint an Executor or Executrix (one of our attorneys can also serve as the Executor if that is what the testator wishes)

- draft, review and submit all necessary documents accounting for the assets of the estate

- notify creditors and ensure all of the deceased's debts are satisfied

- oversee the distribution of the deceased's assets

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