New York estate and probate attorney

Estates can be complex even though it may appear to most to be simple.  Most individuals do not know the laws and how to administer an estate in accordance to the state and local laws and need the assistance of a licensed attorney.  Many clients contact us and state that this is a “simple estate,” but we have found out that “simple” means there is a Will and one asset or just one asset and no will.  Our clients are surprised to learn of all the documents that is needed to either probate the Will so that the Court appoints the executor or obtain a decree from the Court appointing the administrator.   Many Wills contain trust provisions which complicate the proceeding, type of proceeding and the type of documents needed.

Many clients do not know what is required of them in the administration process and if they make a mistake on a transfer of assets or distribution it can be costly but also there may be personal liability attached to that mistake.

It is highly recommended and expected that fiduciaries such as executors, administrators and trustees obtain legal counsel to assist them and provide them with guidance throughout the process which will then insulate them from any liability assuming they comply with the attorney’s instructions.

A probate or estate attorney will prepare all the necessary documents needed for the Court process in order to appoint a fiduciary to the Estate or Trust.   That fiduciary will then be responsible for the administration of the estate and settle same with the assistance of the estate attorney.   If there is a trust involved, it can sometimes be more or less complicated but more private.

Estate and probate attorneys will assist in the following:

  • collection of life insurance policies,
  • determining and paying the inheritance taxes,
  • filing all other necessary tax documents,
  • figuring out the order in which liabilities are settled,
  • identifying and collecting all assets in a timely manner while securing them until they can be sold or distributed,
  • opening and managing estate accounts,
  • ordering appraisals,
  • paying all debt and final bills,
  • preparing all accounting documents and final distribution,
  • preparing and filing all court documents to close out or update the estate proceeding as needed,
  • update letters of appointment and modify as needed,
  • transfer assets in beneficiaries’ names and closing documents.

 Some questions your attorney may ask you are:

  • Is there a Will?
  • Do you have the original Will or know where the original Will is?
  • What is the type of assets in the Estate and value?
  • Are there any contentious heirs or beneficiaries?
  • Does the Will contain any trust provisions?
  • Is it a pour over will?
  • If there is no Will, do you know the next of kin information?
  • Are there any issues with the house, mortgage, foreclosure?

Some questions you may want to ask your attorney?

  • How long have you been practicing as an estate probate attorney?
  • Have you practiced before the Court where my case will be?
  • How do you charge?
  • How long does it take to obtain Court letters?
  • And the administration process?
  • If someone objects to the Will, what happens?

Contact a NY Estate & Probate Attorney

Contact a New York Estate & Probate Attorney, the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, P.C., if your loved one passed away in New York State, or if your loved one had assets based in New York and you reside in another state, then our law firm can assist you with your legal matters. Call us today at (631) 425-7299