Dealing with a loved one's death brings a range of emotions and stress; having to administer their estate shouldn't add to that stress. When you choose an experienced probate and estate administration attorney, you can be confident that you have a guide to help you through every step of the process. Attorney Mikel J. Hoffman understands the complexities and nuances of NY probate courts and is dedicated to helping make the process as easy as possible.
The process of administering an estate through the NY court system is called probate.
When someone had a valid will, probate means "proving" the will, and involves the appointment of an executor to handle the process and carry out the deceased person's wishes for the distribution of their estate. When someone dies "intestate" (without a will), probate serves to administer the estate in accordance with state law. The court will appoint an administrator in such cases, who is responsible for winding down the deceased person's affairs and distributing assets according to NY law.
For small estates (defined as an estate where the deceased person had less than $30,000 of personal property, whether or not he or she left a will), then a streamlined process called a small estate administration or voluntary administration can be used instead.
Probate proceedings can include many moving parts. A petition to open a probate estate must be filed in the county Surrogate's Court in the same county where your loved one lived. That petition must include information about the deceased person's heirs, assets and indebtedness. That petition serves as an application, so you are required to also submit a certified copy of the death certificate and certain other supporting documents.
The process requires providing formal notice to distributees of the estate and other interested parties, notifying them that a petition has been filed to appoint someone as the executor.
Filing fees to open the probate estate vary depending on the size of the estate, and range from less than $50 to more than $1,200. There are also additional fees and court costs in certain circumstances.
Probating an estate includes a variety of steps, each of which requires care and attention to detail. What forms and steps are required will vary from estate-to-estate depending on the circumstances. So, even if you have been through probate with another loved one's estate, the process may be different.
Grief can also test family relationships and create strife where there was none before. When you have a probate attorney helping to handle the process, it may help provide some reassurance to other grieving family members that the estate is being administered appropriately.
Finally, when you hire a probate and estate administration attorney who has experience and understands the process, you'll have someone in your corner who can help you navigate a process that can be overwhelming.
Settling and distributing a loved one's estate does not need to be a stressful experience. When you choose to work with Mikel J. Hoffman P.C., you can be confident that your attorney is working hard to helping you avoid unnecessary delays, expenses and frustration.
To find out more about probate and estate administration and to schedule a free consultation, call us today at (631) 661-2121, or fill out our online contact form.