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the average probate court process costs between 3 and 8 percent of the estate. These costs consist of personal representative costs, attorney fees, valuation and appraisal fees, bond fees and others.
ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER

Marianna Schwartsman

Probate Lawyers NYC

Probate Lawyers NYC: Committed to Your Probate Success

Fact: the average probate court process costs between 3 and 8 percent of the estate. These costs consist of personal representative costs, attorney fees, valuation and appraisal fees, bond fees and others. We have assisted thousands of clients since we set up an office in NYC. We assist beneficiaries to get what they are entitled to and executors to go through the probate process smoothly. We tailor our services to your issue because we understand that no single issue is standard across everyone. When you visit us for the first time or call us, we talk to you with an open mind. We assess your situation independently and only borrow from experience to come up with a solution. The challenges you are facing in probate are different, so will the solutions to the issue. Whether the estate requires probate administration in any county in NYC, we offer both contested and uncontested estates. Contested estates are those where the estate has to go through probate for resolution. In contrast, uncontested estates refer to those where neither the executor nor the probate lawyer has to go to court. Reasons why many New Yorkers don’t have a will: “I don’t need one – when I die, everything goes to my spouse.” Many new Yorkers believe that the law will assume that the property has to go to their spouse automatically, forgetting that they had a previous marriage or have kids. The probate code in NYC might not work as well as you wanted; you need to make sure that your affairs are totally in order.  Additionally, if your family disagrees over the estate’s distribution, it will go directly to the probate court. You might not want to leave all assets to your spouse, and you can do this if you have a will. These important people in your lives will receive nothing unless you have a will. “I can get an e-will easily; I don’t need a lawyer.” Creating your own will or making one online is risky. First, for a will to be termed valid, it has to comply with several requirements. It needs to have two witnesses, as well as get signed by two witnesses and the testator as well. Failure to observe the technicalities will render the will invalid. Secondly, you need to know that there are legal and tax implications of making a will. Drawing the will wrongly leads to dire consequences for the family. This is why you need to work with the best probate lawyers NYC has to offer to avoid unpleasant surprises after you pass away. “I am too young to make a will.” Everyone wishes to live a long and happy life and to have plenty of time to consider the will in the retirement years. Sadly, people die young, and they don’t have the time to make the will. As long as you have some property that you want to pass on to your siblings, you need to have a will. However, you have to be 18 years minimum for the will to stand in probate court. “I don’t have anyone to leave my assets to.” If you don’t have any close relatives, then you must decide who will benefit from the property, whether close relatives or anyone else that you value. If you don’t have a will, then the estate will be distributed to your closest relatives available, but this can take longer to trace them. A will that is properly drawn up is essential for this. “I am too busy.” With the current life, people are usually too busy to balance their work plus their families. All you need to do is contact us so that we can advise you on what you wish the will to be and then take your instructions. We shall come up with a will that you will read over and suggest changes at home. The only time you will come to the office is to execute the will. We can have the necessary witnesses and make sure that the will is signed and witnessed the right way. The will is a primary item during the probate process.

What is NYC Probate?

Losing a family member is tough, and this can become more traumatic if the loved one left behind assets that are to be distributed to heirs or debts that need to be paid out. Probate law is often unlike other types of laws because at least one of the people involved in the case is dead. Due to this, probate courts follow different rules and requirements compared to other courts, and these laws are applied differently than other criminal laws. If you find yourself in a position where you need to administer the estate or want to contest a will left behind by the testator, don’t go it alone – probate lawyers NYC services are available for you. We are on your side, and we shall do all it takes to get the best resolution to the case. Doing this makes sure you focus on more important matters after the death of the spouse. In NYC, probate is a legal system whereby certain assets of the decedent are used to settle any debts. The remaining assets are distributed to the decedent’s heirs as per the will or laid down intestacy rules. The surrogate court in NYC supervises the process. So, what happens during probate:

Validating of the Will

NYC has laws in place that require anyone who has the will of the decedent to have it validated in the Surrogate court as soon as possible. The application to petition the court to open the estate is also made at the same time. The court might require that you file the death certificate as well. If the decedent left a will behind, then the probate process is all about making sure the will is valid. During the process, the executor should inform all the interested parties that the estate is to be opened. We can help you file the petition, especially during the hard times when you grieve for a loved one. This hearing brings up the possibility of the interested parties to raise issues with the will. Maybe the will isn’t drafted right or another person has the most recent will. Another person might object to an executor’s appointment that the testator nominated to oversee the estate’s administration. Whether you object to the validity of the will or want to remove an executor due to one reason or another, it is always good to work with probate lawyers in NYC. We have handled so many issues regarding probate, and we have the experience to make sure you get the best outcome.

Appointment of an Executor

If there is a will, the court will adopt the executor that was named in a will. On the other hand, if there is no will, the court will have to nominate an executor, otherwise called a personal representative. This is the person that is tasked with overseeing the probate process on behalf of the beneficiaries. The appointed person receives letters testamentary from the surrogate court. This is documentation that gives them the right to act and undertake transactions on behalf of the estate. As a personal representative, you have so many things to do, and some of them might turn out to be a breach of contract with the testator. This is the reason why you need our assistance. We understand your role, and we can work hand in hand to make sure that you don’t end up breaking the rules set by the court.

Locating Assets

Your first role as an executor is to locate and take possession of all of the decedent assets so that you protect them during the probate period. This might take some time to locate and possess. We have seen instances when the testator had a property that even the spouse didn’t know about. Taking charge of the property at times needs legal intervention, for instance, coming up with deeds for real estate property. When such a situation arises, we are available to help you get the right documents.

Identifying Creditors

The executor needs to identify and notify the creditors of the death of their debtor. NYC requires that you publish a notice of death to alert all the creditors, both known and unknown. Once notified, the creditors have a specific time limit to lay claims against the estate for any money owed by the estate. However, some of the creditors are out to make a killing when, in the real sense, they were not owed any money. When this happens, you need to work with a probate lawyer to make sure you contest these claims. We have seen instances where some creditors made a killing because the executor didn’t work with a lawyer to identify them.  The earlier you contact us to find out sham creditors, the better for you.

Paying off Debts

The nest task is to pay off debts to the legit creditors. You use the estate funds to do this, including paying off debts that have been accrued during the illness that led to the demise of the testator.

Preparing and Filing Tax Returns

You need to prepare and file the tax returns for the decedent Fr the year that they passed away. If you are too busy to do this, you can engage us to determine if the estate is liable for tax returns and how much you need to pay. You can then go ahead and file for the tax returns, then pay them from the estate funds. If the estate doesn’t have enough funds, you can liquidate a few assets to raise the money to pay for the taxes.

Estate Distribution

After all the steps are completed, the next thing is to petition the court to allow you to distribute the remaining asset to the beneficiaries as per the will. You will only get the permission to do this after you submit a summary of the transactions that you have handled during the probate process. NYC allows the beneficiaries to waive this step if they feel it is not necessary at all. Otherwise, you have to list and explain every expense and income earned by the estate during the probate period.

Handling Intestate Estates

Many times the owner of the estate passes on without leaving a will behind. They might have left one, but it turns out to be invalid, and it gets rejected by the surrogate court. Alternatively, the will might have been valid but then successfully contested by a beneficiary, thus termed null and void. When this happens, the property of the decedent passes to the next of kin in an order determined by the law.

Ancillary Probate

So, what happens when the decedent owned properties in another state? What if the owner of the property resides in another state but has property in NYC? All these scenarios give rise to what is called ancillary probate. When a resident of another state passes away owning property in NYC, proceedings need to be handled in NYC to transfer this property. This is true even when the executor has been appointed in the decedent’s state. It remains true that neither the executor nor the home state’s probate court has any authority in NYC. In this case, you need to need expert probate lawyer NYC services to help you handle the ancillary probate proceeding. We have helped thousands of nonresidents to admit their foreign wills to record, which has been the easiest alternative to the ancillary probate process. As you can see, this only works if there is a valid will. Additionally, this will must be validated according to the requirements of validity in NYC. In case there is no will to refer to, then the process becomes a bit complicated. If the will is validated and admitted to record, then it shall be regarded as a valid will in NYC. Therefore it can be used to pass property to the beneficiaries. You can engage us to guide you on the legality of the will that you are presenting.

Out-of-state Property

If the decedent owned property in a different state, you need to work with the rules in that state to help you pass the property to the rightful heirs. We have colleagues who practice law in different states, which means that if you need any ancillary probation, then we are the right people to assist you. The first step is to get a probate lawyer in the other state. This lawyer will try to admit the will you have to the probate court for approval. If it goes through, the probate court will appoint an executor that will oversee the heirs’ distribution of assets.

Our First Meeting

Now that you know when to talk to a probate lawyer, we need to schedule the first meeting with you. However, before you come in for the meeting, we must tell you what to expect. Given the emotional turmoil attached to the aftermath of a death in the family, it isn’t surprising that many people don’t have a good first interview with the probate attorney. We shall need some information to help ys deal with the issues that you come up with. The information might include an original will as well as any letters that are important to the process. Here are a few tips to help make the process easier.

Get all Paperwork Together

Ensure you come with details of the personal representative that has been appointed to oversee the probate process as per the law. This will help us communicate with the person as necessary. Additionally, carry along a copy of the will and the last testament and the death certificate.

Share Information with the Right People

One of your roles as an executor is to ensure that everyone is informed and consulted as prescribed by the law. Send notifications to beneficiaries and creditors as per the rules set down int h court.

Have Relevant Evidence

Whenever a dispute arises about the process, your best defence will be the records that were used. Make sure you have copies of all the documents so that you do it fast when you are asked to produce evidence. When you have the evidence, we shall do our best because then we shall have the best information to handle the issue at hand.

Why Consider Our Services?

Whether you need to initiate probate, contest the will of a loved one, or serve as a personal representative of an estate, we can offer you the right kind of support. Most people only engage law firms when faced with a will contest. However, we do more than just handling disputes. We have a role to play in each stage of the probate process. Choosing us ensures that your interests remain protected during the entire probate. If you have lost a loved one recently, you can engage our practice to establish where you should start when it comes to initiating probate. You may be aware of several other law firms with a good reputation. However, working with us assures you of several unique advantages. Here are some of them.

We Understand Our Duties Well

The probate process involves several parties, each with unique responsibilities. If you are the executor of a loved one’s estate, there are several tasks you must carry out, such as notifying the beneficiaries and creditors of their involvement in the case. We take part in every necessary step of the process and ensure that each of these parties accomplishes their responsibilities. We liaise with creditors to negotiate payment terms on your behalf. We also guide the executor through evaluating creditor claims to determine their validity. Additionally, we guide you through making any payments from the proceeds of the estate. Our team of trained professionals understands when to step in and assist during the process. Where requisite forms need to be signed, we assist you to do this in a manner that is acceptable by the court.

We Facilitate Faster Processing

Involving us in your probate process ensures that it gets completed in a few months. Without the right assistance, you may have the process going on for several months, even up to two years. With our legal experts on your side, you can witness a faster and more efficient process. You can rely on us to meet deadlines and work with the court to facilitate the settlement of your case as quickly as possible.

We Have Excellent Attention to Detail

Besides interacting with the court, completing the probate process also involves several small steps that you may not be able to complete on your own. Some of these things include filing a notice to the creditors, getting requisite signatures from the heirs, and making arrangements for tax payments. Working with us gives you a great advantage over such activities. We provide you with all the necessary details of your case and make any necessary changes in good time. Our excellent attention to detail ensures that no stage of the probate proceedings remains pending for a long time. We capture every legal requirement and critically assess all paperwork to avoid any liabilities. We complete each of our assignments with maximum efficiency. Our passion is in meeting your needs as our client in the most effective way possible. We carry out the process in a professional way. Whether you need a law firm on a part-time or full-time basis, you can rely on us for quality representation. We offer first-class advice and services based on the needs and complexity of your case. We make use of dynamic templates that can accommodate different cases with different complexities. Once you give us the go-ahead to handle your case, we first take time to understand your requirements and then come up with solutions and strategies customized for your situation. Our telephone lines are always open in case you need to make an urgent consultation during the process.

We are Professionals at Challenging Wills

A loved one may pass away, leaving behind a will that is not valid. This is common among divorced couples, or one of the beneficiaries expects to receive a larger percentage of the decedent’s estate. We have worked with many clients who are faced with this challenge. All of them walked out of our firm, satisfied with our way of handling matters associated with the will. The probate court allows individuals to challenge a will if they are not satisfied with the guidelines contained in it. If you lost a loved one and feel that the will was not written as it should, you can engage us to help you with the process of challenging it. Contesting a will is a legal action that needs the intervention of our firm. You cannot succeed in it if you do not have the necessary legal backup. We have a track record of assisting many people in contesting successfully. We boast of several years of experience doing this through:
  • Going through the will and assisting you in establishing whether you have a legal reason to contest it
  • Clearly explaining the terms of the will to you to ensure that you understand the determinants of the contest.
  • Assisting you to convince the court that indeed, the process of executing the will was unfair
  • Establishing that the testator was not in the right frame of mind when drafting the will
  We help you determine the complexity of your contest and prepare you on what you should expect once you get to court. Through our team, we can help you understand if you truly have ground to file the challenge.

Our systems Relieve You of Unnecessary Stress

We understand how stressful it can be to execute your loved one’s will. In effect of this, we come up with simpler ways of meeting the probate court’s legal requirements. We help you acquire all the permissions you need to access the necessary parts of the decedent’s estate. Some of the permissions include the right to get funds from the decedent’s accounts. We work hard to ensure that the family does not remain in financial need during the process. As we do this, you realize that there are very little issues that you need to worry about when it comes to probate. Our practice ensures that any questions you have regarding probate and any other estate planning issues are handled professionally by an experienced attorney. Our purpose is to provide you with all the necessary information to make the right decisions about the entire process.
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Frequently Asked Questions

The probate process is all about the laws and legal requirements that apply after someone has passed on and left an estate that needs to be distributed and creditors paid off. On the other hand, the estate settlement process is all about answering the questions about the estate of the decedent. These questions include the creditors and what each of them is owed and the types of assets that the will-maker owed.

This is a collection of proposed laws that have been drafted by legal experts in the probate field over the years. These laws have been designed to give probate lawyers around the country the capacity to use a uniform set of rules that would apply to any probate situation regardless of the county. However, the law allows for a county to edit these laws to suit the state.

What this means is that while the probate laws across the country are similar, you aren’t sure of what laws apply to you in certain circumstances because of the differences that exist from one state to another, and even between states hat adopt the Universal Probate Code. Talk to probate lawyers in NYC to understand what the probate law in New York entails. We are the best option when you have an issue regarding probate.

Probate issues are unpredictable – they can affect anyone at any time. For instance, if you have an elderly family member who becomes incapacitated, you might have to go before the probate court to determine who makes the decisions on their behalf. Therefore, preparing for probate might mean different things to different people. Regardless of the situation that will come in the future, we can assist you in getting ready for whatever probate brings your way. If you decide to get prepared, contact us early enough.

You need to determine if the death of the testator has been registered and whether the death certificate has been issued. You need to have a copy of the will and the death certificate with you. You also need to fill out the probate forms then identify the property that belongs to the testator to make sure the property is taken care of. Once the will has been admitted to court, contact all the inherited parties to inform them you have the authority to deal with the property left behind.

As the executor, you need to find out if the debts were joint or solely the liability of the owner. Find out if the decedent had insurance that might cover the debts. You need to notify the creditors about the decedent’s death and then allow them to make claims to the estate for payment of their debts. You will pay off the debts before you can distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries. These need to be paid as per a defined schedule.

For key trends and only the best probate practices, we are your go-to firm.
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