Probate Process

Probate

Probate is the court proceeding that proves the validity of a Will. After the will is “admitted to probate,” the executor administers the estate. Estate assets (assets of the deceased) are collected and, after expenses and taxes are paid, distributed to heirs Probate. Attorney William A. Simon, seasoned with over 40 years’ experience in the New York probate courts, efficiently moves an estate through the probate process.

The word “simple” may not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about probate, and that is because probate is actually quite complicated. This is, for example, a simple process when a single parent dies and bequeaths his or her estate to only one child, but it is complicated when the father, who was born out of wedlock, leaves his estate to his wife and the two children born from his marriage to her and to his illegitimate sons.

In general, probate is necessary when someone dies with assets and those assets do not automatically transfer ownership when he or she dies, or when the assets have not transferred ownership because they remain in the deceased’s name. Nonetheless, probate is the court proceeding that proves the validity of the deceased’s last Will and testament.

The will determines whom the testator designates as his personal representative or executor and how the assets are distributed. After the will is “admitted to probate,” the executor administers the estate. Once the trial begins, the executor of the will, who is named in the will as court administrator, is responsible for overseeing the succession process. Probate enforces the deceased’s estate, which may include the resolution of debts, the sale of assets and the distribution of the remaining assets to the heirs. Estate assets (assets of the deceased) are collected and, after expenses and taxes are paid, distributed to heirs.

The fact is that bereavement can be a confusing time for all concerned, and this confusion is compounded by the raw emotions that the death of a loved one always evokes. Whether you are an executor of the will, heir or interested in the process, a lawyer can help you get all your questions answered. Hence, it is highly recommended to call for a probate attorney that can help you and your family secure statements and ease legal proceedings.

The more complex the probate process, the more it will cost you and more, and sometimes it can get bogged down in details, particularly when administering an estate. While a lawyer does not have a magic formula that can bring probate to a sudden conclusion, he or she may be able to reduce the many obstacles that may arise during the process.

If you are looking for an experienced lawyer, Attorney William A. Simon, seasoned with over 40 years’ experience in the New York probate courts, efficiently moves an estate through the probate process.

Surrogate’s Court

There are many legal sections and rules dealing with the administration of a deceased person’s estate, such as probate and administrative procedures. Proceedings before the surrogacy court include probate proceedings in which a person had a will and died, or administrative proceedings in which the person died as a result of that will. Other procedures dealt with by the substitute court include accounting procedures in which an executor or administrator is responsible for the accounting of financial transactions involved in the estate of a deceased person.

The New York Surrogate’s Court is the court in which all matters relating to the estates of deceased New York residents are determined. The Surrogate is the judge in this particular court; each county in New York has at least one Surrogate. The Surrogate’s Court of New York County (Manhattan) and Kings County (Brooklyn) each have two Surrogate judges. The Surrogate’s Court handles, among other matters, the probate of Wills and appointment of Executors, the appointment of Administrators who administer the estates of people who die without a valid Will, and any disputes over the validity of a Will or the administration of a trust or a decedent’s estate.

The Surrogate is the judge in this particular court; each county in New York has at least one Surrogate. In the case of the Surrogate Court of New York County (Manhattan) and Kings County (Brooklyn), there are two surrogate judges for each court. Judges in the courts deal in particular with issues relating to the estate and succession of the deceased. In many cases, judges encourage different parties to find common ground on inheritance disputes, such as wills and estates. Disputes in the surrogacy court are fought by both sides, who argue against each other in the surrogacy court. It is also possible to get the warring parties to mediate, which can be time-consuming.

Surrogate Court also handles cases in which a dying person does not have a will, but the rightful inheritance is investigated. If someone dies without anyone registering and being qualified to become an estate administrator, their property is taken over by a municipal authority that administers it until it can find out who it is. In some cases, if someone dies without first drafting a will, the surrogate court will take care of the estate for them.

The Law Office of McGarry & Simon is conveniently located on the 44th Floor of 2 Grand Central Tower at 140 East 45th Street.