New York Probate Attorney
The probate of an estate following the passing of a loved one can be a very stressful and confusing time. In addition to the devastating emotional impact of the loss, the decedent’s estate must be administered in a timely and organized manner. As Long Island probate lawyers at the Victor Law Firm, we compassionately assist our clients in the probate of estates, regardless of whether the decedent passed away intestate (without a Will), with a Will, or with a trust.
There are very specific laws and time limits involved in administering an estate in New York. There are also severe penalties for improperly administering an estate. If you are in charge of administering a loved one’s estate, we are here to help. In addition, we can assist you in the probate of an estate from outside the state of New York, also known as ancillary probate.
New York Probate
When a person passes away without an estate plan, or just a Will, his or her family must put the estate through a court-managed proceeding known as “probate.” During probate, assets are retitled and distributed according to statutes delineated by the state of New York or, if the decedent had a Will, according to provisions outlined in the Will.
At the Victor Law Firm, we typically use a variety of tools, such as a living trust, to set up our clients’ estates in such a way as to avoid probate entirely. However, families we have not met before frequently contact us for help with probating the estate of a loved one. We welcome the opportunity to do so, and these families often become lifelong clients.
Perhaps you are wondering what is involved in probating an estate? While no two probates are the same, some generalizations can be made. Here are some of the duties that must be carried out in a “typical” probate:
- Locate and file the Last Will and Testament with the local court
- File required probate documents with the court
- Locate, inventory, marshal, close and transfer personal assets/accounts
- Appraise and value all assets
- Pay debts and expenses associated with the last illness and funeral
- Ascertain all known creditors of the estate
- Process and receive life insurance death benefits
- Secure personal residence and tangible personal property
- File appropriate tax returns (federal and Illinois) and make appropriate tax elections
- Pay estate taxes and final personal income taxes
- Obtain tax releases and closing letters from local courts, the IRS and state taxing authorities
- Make specific bequests, as well as partial and final distributions to beneficiaries (including packing and shipping of tangible personal property)
- Provide complete detailed accounting to the local court and estate beneficiaries
As you can imagine, getting all of this done requires an enormous amount of time and can be very frustrating. When you add the grief that accompanies losing a loved one, the probate process can seem overwhelming.
We can help you navigate the probate process and settle your loved one’s estate as quickly and economically as possible. We will handle the entire process for you, so that you in turn can focus on the most important matter of all—coming to terms with your grief and beginning to move with your life. If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, we are here for you.