Losing a loved one is hard enough. Leave the legalities to us.
If a loved one has died and you're unsure what to do, you are not alone. We know losing a loved one is all consuming.
People often do not know where to start. They feel guilty for worrying about the financial and legal aspects. We are here to help you take the necessary legal steps.
When problems develop between family members in an estate proceeding, it is usually due to underlying issues that have lain dormant for years. There are methods we can use when dividing estate assets to avoid ill will. Sometimes resentments take on a life of their own and litigation is necessary.
Know Your Next Steps
Book an appointment online as there may be immediate steps you must take. We can get started right away to have someone appointed to oversee the estate, explain family member's roles, decipher the estate plan, and advise you of your rights.
We will walk you through all the steps, it’s not something you need to do alone. A Probate and Estate Administration attorney can make the process easier.
What is the difference between dying with a Will & without a Will?
Without a Will
When someone dies without a will, “intestate”, the estate goes through a process similar to probate called an Administration. As opposed to a Last Will & Testament, where the testator dictates who will receive assets, distribution is strictly controlled by the intestacy statute.
With a Will
When someone dies in New York State with a Last Will and Testament, their estate must be administered through the Surrogate's Court managed probate process to validate the will and grant legal authority to the nominated Executor.
If someone dies without a last will and testament, their assets will be distributed according to the default guidelines under EPTL 4-1.1:
|Was married and no children||spouse inherits everything|
|Had children but no spouse||children inherit everything|
|Had spouse and children||spouse inherits the first $50,000 and the remaining assets are split evenly between spouse and children.|
|Had no spouse and no children, parents living||parents inherit everything|
|Had no spouse and no children, parents predeceased, had siblings||siblings (or their lineal descendants) inherit everything|
|Had no spouse, no children, no siblings||Maternal and Paternal Grandparents (or their lineal descendants) inherit everything|
|Then divided btw maternal and paternal aunts & uncles, then cousins...it gets complicated.|
New York Probate Timline
Both a Probate and Estate Administration involve:
- Filing a petition with the proper Surrogates Court in the county where the decedent resided.
- Obtaining waivers and consents from heirs (distributees) so the named executor or proposed administrator can be appointed on the estate.
- If no waiver is forthcoming, getting a citation date for the person to show up in court and contest the appointment.
- Obtaining Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary giving the Administrator or Executor the power to act.
- Opening an estate account and getting an Federal Tax ID Number.
- Marshaling the assets and moving to the estate account.
- Paying debts to rightful creditors.
- Payment of decedent's income taxes.
- final distribution of decedent’s property to heirs.
- Final accounting, and possibly an estate tax return.
Court Delays Since Covid-19
Due to the covid 19 pandemic Surrogates Courts all over NYS have become backlogged - especially in Brooklyn and Manhattan. It is crucial to contact an attorney right away to see what needs to be done.
We Make the Process Simple
Timeline & Cost
The typical Surrogate's Court Probate and Administration timeline in Kings and New York County is between 6 and 18 months.
We take retainers on estate matters on an very reasonable hourly basis - with typical initial retainers $1,500 to $10,000 - depending on the complexity involved.
Free 1 Hour Consult online or in person
Secure Client Portal
All Paperwork Done Remotely
Our consultations are always thorough
and always free
Book online, schedule through email
or call our office at (212) 739-1736
Probate and Estate Administration in NYC. Compassionate and experienced litigator.
*Please note that our office does not provide notary service to the public. If you drop in for notary, the attorney will accommodate you if possible. However, we do not under any circumstances take appointments or calls regarding notary services. Thank you for understanding.
221 Columbia Street
Brooklyn, New York 11231
Ph. (212) 739-1736 Fax (212) 202-5263
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