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Surrogate courts and navigating probate

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Probate

If your loved one has an estate plan in place, there is the presumption that no issues will occur during the administration of the estate. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Even if steps were taken to avoid probate, this process might be necessary to administer your loved one’s estate in New York.

Despite negative perceptions surrounding the probate process, there are benefits. As such, it is important to understand this process and what probate can accomplish.

Understanding probate

Probate might carry with it a taboo reputation; however, the attorneys at McGarry & Simon understand the important role it can play when administering an estate. Our law firm knows that this can be a complex and lengthy process, which is why our attorneys take the time to explain the process to our clients, ensuring they know their rights and options each step of the way.

In simple terms, probate is a court proceeding that is used to validate the will of a decedent. Once the will is admitted to probate, the executor will begin to administer the estate. In some cases, this can be a very simple and straightforward tax; however, some matters can be complicated with the issues involving heirs, creditors, asset valuation, taxes and deadlines.

Surrogate court

In New York, there are surrogate courts. These are the courts that handle all matters relating to estates belonging to New York decedents. The judge of this court is called a surrogate. Matters handled by a surrogate can include the probate of a will, appointment of executors, appointing administers for estates of individuals that passed without a valid will and disputes involving the validity of a will, the administration of a trust or other detail of a decedent’s estate.

Navigating probate and administering an estate can be an overwhelming task. As such, it is imperative that you explore your rights and options. A legal professional can answer any questions you might have, helping you decide what steps to take.