One of the issues that will have to be dealt with upon the passing of a loved one is whether it will be necessary to open a Probate. Your Bronx Probate lawyer can assist with that determination and explain the process involved.
Why a Probate May Be Necessary
In general, Probate is the process whereby the Surrogate Court determines if a Last Will and Testament was properly executed, and is genuine. In a successful Probate, the Surrogate’s Court issues Letters Testamentary to the person who is named in the Will as Executor. If there is no Will in an Administration proceeding the Court will appoint an Administrator to oversee the collection of estate assets, payment of estate debts and distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
Intestacy is a term used when a person dies without a Will. In such cases, after payment of all estate debts, the assets are distributed according to New York statutory laws based on the nature of the relationships of the survivors.
Why a Probate May Be Unnecessary
In many cases where the decedent did not own any real property, New York law allows estates valued at less than $30,000 to be administered without the necessity of opening a Probate proceeding. This is called a Small Estate Proceeding.
Even if a Probate is opened, certain assets, by their nature, are not subject to Probate. Examples include life insurance proceeds, assets held by the decedent in joint title with another person, assets held in a trust and assets held with a pay-on-death beneficiary named. Immediately upon the decedent’s passing, non-probate assets transfer to the appropriately named person by operation of law.
Some estates are relatively simple, and, if Probate is required, it is a relatively straight forward procedure. In other cases, there may be concerns regarding beneficiary claims, creditor claims or the validity of the will.
Contact an experienced Bronx Probate Attorney for Legal Advice
An Executor or Administrator has certain legal duties by the nature of their position. To be certain those duties have been completed as required, to protect from claims to the contrary and any other questions regarding probate in New York, call Evan Rogers at 718-994-1640.