Probate / Estate Administration

Experienced Brooklyn Probate Lawyer Yana Feldman - Estate Planning Attorneys

In Brooklyn, NY, when a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. If the assets of the deceased in Brooklyn were owned through a well-drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary, though the successor trustee needs to administer the distribution of the deceased’s assets. 

The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules and schedule of the probate court in NY.

The New York probate process for each estate is unique, but usually involves the following steps:

New York Legacy Lawyers is a law firm that provides estate planning, estate administration, and probate services to clients in Brooklyn, NY and throughout New York. Our  Brooklyn estate planning lawyers can help you plan for the future by creating a comprehensive estate plan that ensures your family members are taken care of after you are gone.

At New York Legacy Lawyers, our experienced attorneys for wills and probate are here to help you with all of your estate planning and probate needs.

Contact us today at (718) 713 8080 to schedule a consultation with one of our Brooklyn estate administration lawyers or attorneys for probate in Brooklyn, NY. 

Estate Planning Attorneys Discusses Brooklyn Estate Administration

Estate administration in Brooklyn involves the process of concluding, finalizing, accounting for, and distributing all the possessions and belongings of a deceased individual to their intended beneficiaries. The term “estate” encompasses everything that the deceased person owned.

Estate administration can be a complicated process, so it’s important to speak with a skilled attorney for estate administration. Often, attorneys for estate planning have the experience dealing with probate and estate administration. It can be beneficial to seek their help when dealing with estate matters. 

At New York Legacy Lawyers, our experienced team of Brooklyn attorneys may be able to provide you with the legal advice you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your estate planning needs. 

Estate Lawyer Explains Probate in New York

Probate as defined is a small part of estate administration. It entails the distribution of property and assets in accordance with the stipulations outlined in a will. Although this procedure is usually straightforward in cases where a valid will exists, conflicts may emerge among beneficiaries and other family members.

Probate generally involves the official appointment of someone to handle the administration of a deceased individual’s estate.

When there is a Will, the probate process is employed by the state where the deceased person lived and/or owned property to:

If you need a probate lawyer, our Brooklyn probate attorney can help. We have probate attorneys who can assist you with all aspects of probate, including estate administration, litigation, and more. We are here to help you through the probate process and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out.

At New York Legacy Lawyers, we are dedicated to serving our clients and providing them with the best possible legal services. We have a team of experienced lawyers and legal providers who are committed to helping you achieve your goals. If you need legal help, please feel free to view our lawyer profile or email our lawyer for a message.

Steps in the Probate ProcessDescription
Filing of a petitionSubmitting a petition to the appropriate probate court to initiate the probate process.
Notice to heirsProviding notice to the heirs mentioned in the will or the statutory heirs if no will exists.
Appointment of ExecutorPetitioning the court to appoint an Executor (if there is a will) or an Administrator for the estate.
Inventory and appraisalConducting an inventory and appraisal of the deceased’s assets by the appointed Executor/Administrator.
Payment of estate debtSettling estate debts by making payments to rightful creditors.
Sale of estate assetsSelling assets of the estate as needed.
Payment of estate taxesDetermining and paying estate taxes, if applicable.
Final distributionDistributing the remaining assets to the heirs.

What Happens if My Loved One Passed Away Without A Will?

When someone passes away without leaving a Last Will and Testament, their property and assets still go through Estate Administration for collection and distribution.

Here, the probate procedure is employed to:

The estate administrator, once appointed, takes on the responsibility of settling the estate. This involves tasks like gathering all the assets, settling any outstanding debts or estate taxes, and then distributing what’s left of the assets.

A crucial duty of the estate administrator is to maintain accurate and concise records of all the property involved in the estate administration process. They are also required to distribute the assets following the general rules of distribution outlined in New York’s Laws of Intestacy, specifically Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, Section 4-1.1. The distribution of the estate depends on factors such as the type of property and who the deceased person is survived by, including blood relatives, spouses, and children.

Our estate lawyers at New York Legacy Lawyers can help you with all aspects of estate planning, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. We may be able to also help you plan for probate and estate administration. Our estate planning attorneys can help you save money on taxes and ensure that your assets in Brooklyn, NY are distributed according to your wishes.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney for estate planning in Brooklyn. 

Avoiding Probate Through Estate Planning in Brooklyn

Avoiding probate, both financially and emotionally, can be a burdensome and expensive undertaking. Fortunately, there are ways to bypass this process in New York. Numerous reasons exist for wanting to avoid probate, including delays in estate administration, concerns about the public nature of probate, and the associated costs.

In New York, if a will includes assets valued below $50,000, probate is not required. Instead of enduring a lengthy probate procedure, beneficiaries can file an affidavit with the court to claim their share of the inheritance. One common approach to sidestep probate is to establish a revocable living trust to hold the estate and assets. By placing assets in a separate legal entity with specific instructions, individuals can determine how their assets will be distributed until their demise.

It is important to note that any assets not explicitly mentioned in the living trust will still undergo probate. Therefore, thoroughness is vital. To address this, a “pour-over” will can be created. This will acts as a last will and testament, providing instructions for any part of the deceased person’s estate that is not included in the living trust. This may be necessary if someone acquires a new property in their name and passes away before transferring the title to the trust.

However, a living trust may not be suitable for everyone. In an effort to simplify the probate process and make it more cost-effective and efficient, New York has implemented changes. Depending on the circumstances, pursuing probate might be a viable option. It is strongly advised to seek guidance from an estate attorney to determine the most appropriate estate plan for your specific situation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

An objection to a will, also known as a “will contest” is a fairly common occurrence during the probate proceedings and can be incredibly costly to litigate.

In order to contest a will, one has to have legal “standing” to raise objections. This usually occurs when, for example, children are to receive disproportionate shares under the will, or when distribution schemes change from a prior will to a later will. In addition to disputes over the tangible distributions, will contests can be a quarrel over the person designated to serve as Executor.

Contact our New York legacy lawyers to get help.

Probate is primarily a process through which title is transferred from the name of the deceased to the names of the beneficiaries.

Certain types of assets are “non-probate assets” and do not go through probate. These include:

  • Property in which you own title as “joint tenants with right of survivorship”.  Such property passes to the co-owners by operation of law and does not go through probate.
  • Retirement accounts such as IRA and 401(k) accounts where there are designated beneficiaries.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • Bank accounts with “pay on death” (POD) designations or “in trust for” designations.
  • Property owned by a living trust.  Legal title to such property passes to successor trustees without having to go through probate.

Executors are reimbursed for all legitimate out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the process of management and distribution of the deceased’s estate. In addition, you may be entitled to statutory fees, which vary from location to location and on the size of the probate estate. The Executor has to fulfill his or her fiduciary duties on behalf of the estate with the highest degree of integrity and can be held liable for mismanagement of estate assets in his or her care. It is advised that the Executor retain an attorney and an accountant to advise and assist him with his or her duties.

The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a number of factors such as the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a will, and the location of real property owned by the estate. Will contests or disputes with alleged creditors over the debts of the estate can also add significant cost and delay. Common expenses of an estate include Executors’ fees, attorneys’ fees, accounting fees, court fees, appraisal costs, and surety bonds. These typically add up to 5 to 7 percent of the total estate value. Most estates are settled through probate in about 9 to 18 months, assuming there is no litigation involved.

Getting the Advice of an Experienced Probate Lawyer at New York Legacy Lawyers

When a person passes away in New York without leaving a will, having a probate attorney is important for submitting a request to the New York Surrogates Court. Subsequently, the court will designate an administrator to manage the deceased individual’s estate. Typically, the court grants the administrator the authority to handle property distribution and make arrangements for guardianship of minors, in addition to assigning conservators for adults who are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Speaking to a skilled probate lawyer can help you understand your role and what your next steps should be. We may be able to help with your estate administration and probate needs. 

Contact New York Legacy Lawyers in Brooklyn today to schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney for probate and estate administration. 

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