Questions About Probating a Long Island Estate
Whether you were named an executor in a will or if your loved one recently
died, if you've never had to deal with
probate proceedings before, you're probably very unfamiliar with the process.
At the Law Offices of Steven M. Adler, PLLC, we have over 25 years of
experience assisting executors and administrators through the probate
process. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about probate
which you can find below. We encourage you to continue reading and for
further information, please don't hesitate to contact our office directly.
What is probate?
Probate is the court-monitored process whereby a will is proved to the satisfaction
of the Surrogate Judge. From there, an executor will be appointed to collect
and distribute the estate's assets to the creditors and the beneficiaries
named in the will.
What is a will?
A will is a written legal document where someone explains what he or she
wants done with their property upon their death. A valid will has the
power to transfer interest in personal property such as bank accounts,
stocks and furniture to the named beneficiaries. It can also provide protection
for adult disabled children and to minor grandchildren through trusts.
What happens when someone dies without a will?
When someone dies without a will it is referred to as dying "intestate."
Since the deceased left no directions about the disposition of assets,
New York law provides for how those assets will be distributed among the
surviving family members.
What is administration?
When someone dies without a will, instead of the process being referred
to as probate, it is called administration. With administration the court
appoints an "administrator" to manage the estate. Although executors
and administrators have different titles, their functions are nearly identical.
I was named the executor of a will, how do I start probate?
You will need to bring the original will and a certified copy of the death
certificate with the probate petition and other supporting documents to
the Surrogate's Court in the county where the decedent lived prior
to his or her death. A filing fee will apply which will be determined
by the size of the estate.
Where do I obtain a copy of the death certificate?
You can usually obtain copies from the funeral director. You may also
obtain them from the Vital Statistics/Death Records Department in the
municipality where the person died.
As a beneficiary, will I receive notice of the probate proceedings?
Under New York State law, the fiduciary (executor) has the duty to comply
with strict requirements for notifying persons who have a legal interest
in the estate and any matters which affect those interests. The executor
simply cannot keep you in the dark about what is happening, you must be
informed throughout the process.
How long does probate take?
As early as 7 months after the fiduciary appointment, the executor and
their attorney can file a FORM 207.42 in order to close the estate, or
by the ends of 2 years of the appointment. Releases from all beneficiaries
of the estate are executed at this time as well, if they were not already
filed. This means that you can reasonably expect probate to take from
7 months to 2 years. When there is real estate to sell or will contests,
it can take up to a year or longer since these procedures can extend probate.
Contact a Long Island Probate Attorney Today!
If you are an executor or an administrator, you should not handle probate
proceedings without a qualified professional guiding you through the process.
With over 25 years of experience serving the residents of Long Island
with their probate proceedings, we can guide through the process while
protecting your best interests. Contact a
Long Island probate lawyer from our firm today at (516) 740-1184 to
schedule an appointment!