Nassau County Probate Attorney

Probate And Administration in New York

The division of an individual's estate is a highly complex affair - legally, financially and emotionally. There are often multiple interested parties involved and depending on the value and size of the estate in question, there could be just as many disputes throughout the process. If you have been requested to act as executor for a loved one's estate or if you are the court appointed administrator, we highly recommend seeking the legal counsel of a thoroughly experienced New York estate attorney. With proper representation, your loved one's wishes as well as your own interests, will be handled quickly and discretely.

Administration vs. Probate in NY

Simply put, estate administration begins when an individual passes away without drafting a will. Probate proceedings begin when the deceased has left a will behind. In both instances, the New York Surrogate's Court will oversee the estate's distribution. In terms of the individual processes, the following are some of the broad strokes involved with estate administration:

  • Appoint an administrator - Following an individual's death, the Surrogate's Court will appoint an estate administrator to handle the distribution of assets, as well as other tasks. Generally, the deceased's immediate family will take on this role, either the spouse or children. However, this responsibility could extend to grandparents, cousins and other family members depending on the circumstances.
  • Asset collection - Once an administrator has been chosen and established by the courts, they will begin collecting all viable assets. This includes all physical and liquid assets owned by the estate.
  • Debt Resolution & Distribution - After all assets have been accounted for, the administrator will pay any outstanding debts left in the estate, such as back taxes and outstanding credit lines. They will then distribute the remaining assets according to state statutes. As with the initial appointment, distribution generally remains with the immediate family, but could extend to other love ones.

Probate Proceedings in New York

On the other hand, probate proceedings have a number of modified steps included:

  • Notify the Heirs - Individuals who have been named in the will, as well as those who were named heirs, with or without the document, must be notified of probate proceedings.
  • Proving the Will - Provided an executor has been established via a Will, said individual will file an official petition with the New York Surrogate's Court to begin probate proceedings. The literal meaning of probate is “to prove”. In this instance, it refers to proving the validity of the Will in question. The courts will review the document, formally establish who the executor is, who the beneficiaries are, name any key witnesses and review a wide variety of other details.
  • Asset Collection - Provided no one has contested the Will and all parties have agreed to the court's findings, the assigned executor will then begin collecting the estate assets. This action is identical in most respects to the administrative process – discovering what assets are where, collecting them and valuating any items that may need liquidated and placing them into the estate account.
  • Debt Resolution & Distribution - Once all discoveries have been made and all items are accounted for, the appointed executor will proceed with distribution. First, all creditors and debts will be closed. Second, any tax obligations to the state will be paid. Finally, the heirs to the estate will receive their portion according to the will, minus any outstanding balances that were closed.

Counsel You Can Trust in Nassau County

If your loved one has recently passed away and you are faced with the difficult task of handling the estate, know that you are not alone. The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC are ready to prove compassionate and comprehensive guidance that is second to none. Call our office today and schedule a consultation, at (516) 227-5353.

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