You may just have found out that you were named the executor in a will by a recently deceased person. Possibly the whole concept of probate is still foreign to you. Seeking guidance from a probate attorney is the right step to take. A probate attorney 10028 offers professional assistance to clients in probating a will and administering an estate in NY. As probate laws vary from place to place, and as probate must be done in the county of the deceased, it is important hiring a lawyer in that county who is highly experienced in the probate system of said location. If you wish to acquire the services of a probate attorney 10028, New York, we are here to help.
Important things to know about NY probate 10028
Being the executor of a will, there are so many things you should know about probate. This is because there are important roles you would be playing. However, your attorney when hired will guide you through, ensuring all that needs to be done is done at the right time; the purpose is for probate to conclude quickly and with minimal complications.
What is probate?
Probate is the process by which the estate of a deceased is lawfully disbursed. If there is a valid will, the estate will be distributed accordingly. If not, the intestacy laws determine whom the estate goes to. However, probate is not always necessary.
When is probate necessary?
In New York, probate will only be done if there are assets held in the deceased’s name only, of which the estimated worth values over $30,000. Below this value, a simple Small Estate Administration is used instead. Property held in joint tenancy, assets held in a trust, IRAs, insurance policies and other financial accounts with POD clauses pass outside probate.
Where does probate take place?
Probate begins and ends in the probate court where the deceased owned estate. However, most parts of probate are executed by the executor out-of-court.
Who is the executor?
The executor is named in the will. He is responsible for initiating probate by filing a petition to the probate court for the process to commence. If there is no will, then an estate administrator is appointed by the court. Both executor and estate administrator are both called the personal representative of the deceased and have the same responsibilities.
Responsibilities of the personal representative
- Initiating probate by filing a petition to the court along with the death certificate and Last Will of the deceased
- Notifying the family and creditors of the deceased that probate has commenced
- Collecting all valuables and estimating the worth of the estate
- Liquidating assets and investing if necessary
- Paying estate debts, tax, funeral expenses, and other financial obligations of the estate. (All expenses including attorney charges and court fees are paid from the estate purse.)
- Disbursing what is left of the estate to the beneficiaries.
How long does probate normally take?
There is no simplified probate process in New York. On average, probate takes about 7-9 months. It sometimes takes more than a year depending on the complexity of the estate.
Do I need to hire a probate attorney?
It is sometimes not necessary to hire a probate attorney especially when the estate is simple and small, the executor is experienced, and the family members are close. If not, there is a high probability that problems may arise such as will misunderstandings, contests, litigation, false accusations, etc. There are also lots of paperwork and tax return forms to fill. All these are better handled by a professional.
Estate tax and debts
In New York, estates valuing over $5.85 million for deaths in 2020 are subject to an estate tax. The tax must be paid before inheritors can inherit. Debts must also be paid to creditors.
Why you need a probate attorney
Actually, there are so many advantages of hiring a probate attorney. The process is legal and involves some legal formalities which you may not be familiar with. A probate attorney will assist with all these to prevent costly mistakes. Tax forms prepared incorrectly can attract sanctions. If there is no proper understanding of the will, conflicts and tension may abound. A probate attorney gives clarity to all relevant aspects. He also ensures the executor performs his roles with utmost efficiency and transparency, thus preventing fraudulence, mismanagement and unnecessary accusations.
If there are differences amongst the family members and lawsuits are filed, probate becomes even more expensive and time-consuming. A probate attorney can help prevent such issues from escalating into court cases through conflict resolution. If need be, he also represents clients in probate litigation.
Our probate lawyers at our NY-based law firm help ensure that probate concludes quickly and with as little hiccups as possible. Call our offices to speak with a probate attorney 10028.