We offer our services for both probate and administration proceedings.
A probate proceeding is one where the decedent (the person who died) left a will. A will is a legal document providing instructions how to distribute the decedent’s estate (assets and, sometimes, debts) and who the beneficiaries would be. The executor, the person designated by the decedent in the will to carry out the decedent’s wishes, is the one who must commence the probate proceeding.
The will is filed with the Surrogate’s Court so that a proper determination as to the validity of the will shall be made (there could be more than one will or the formalities required to be observed when the will was drafted or executed were not satisfied or an issue may be raised regarding lack of the decedent’s mental capacity, potentially resulting in the denial of probating said will.)
An administration proceeding becomes necessary where the decedent did not leave behind a will (died “intestate”). In such cases, one, often a close relative, may apply to the Surrogate’s Court seeking to be appointed as an Administrator of the estate. Their job entails gathering (“marshaling”) all of the estate’s assets, pay its debts, if any, and distribute the net balance of the estate to those who have been designated by the intestacy laws of the State of New York to receive it, with the surviving spouse and children favored by such laws).
The proceedings can be complex and intimidating to the untrained and those unfamiliar with the court system. A pre-petition thorough and detailed analysis must be conducted. The initial petitions must be correctly completed, all of the required parties must be properly listed, proper notices or forms must be served.
We are experienced attorneys who will help you file for letters of administration, or if you have been named as executor in a will, commence, on your behalf, a probate proceeding. We will assist you in negotiating the complexities, and pitfalls, of the legal system.
Please call us for a free consultation.