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Helping Queens County Residents With All Aspects Of Probate Proceedings

The lawyers at DeCandido & Azachi, PLLC, have worked extensively on complex and highly contentious probate matters in Queens, Nassau County and throughout New York City. Our estate and probate attorneys provide legal counsel to executors and beneficiaries who need help navigating the probate process or litigation in surrogate’s court. We focus on finding effective solutions to quickly resolve any probate-related issues you and your family are facing.

What Is New York’s Probate Process?

This is a formal process filed with the surrogate’s court to determine if a will is valid. If the surrogate’s court determines the will is valid, the executor will need to fulfill their fiduciary duties, including paying debts of the deceased and distributing assets to the beneficiaries.

This process is complex. It is often difficult for executors to know how best to act. We work closely with executors throughout New York City to ensure they are accurately completing every phase of the probate process. If you are the subject of any litigation in surrogate’s court, you can feel confident knowing that our skilled trial attorneys will establish a strong defense for you.

How Intestate Administration Works

When individuals die without a will, they are said to have died intestate. Their estate will typically not go through New York’s probate process. Instead, the surrogate’s court will issue letters of administration that appoint an administrator to act on behalf of the estate. New York’s intestate laws clearly identify who may be the administrator and how to distribute the estate. As estate law attorneys with extensive experience handling intestate administration, we work closely with these appointed administrators to ensure they fully comply with all of New York’s laws.

What Are The New York State Intestacy Laws And How Do They Affect Inheritance?

New York has laws that govern how the probate process should be carried out – when distributing assets and things of this nature – if there is no will or estate plan to provide guidance. This means that state law will determine what happens to a person’s assets, which could mean they pay more in taxes than they intended or that their own wishes for their assets are not carried out.

Some New York intestacy rules have already been set. For instance, if someone passes away with a spouse but no children, then their spouse inherits everything under state law. If the roles are reversed, the children get everything. Probate does get more complicated when there are children and a spouse, as state law says that both sides get half of the total balance of the estate. The spouse also gets the first $50,000, so they may end up with slightly more than the adult children.

Do You Have To Use The Court In Queens If The Deceased Died There?

Under New York inheritance laws, paperwork typically needs to be filed in the Surrogate’s Court. The court used will be the one in the same county where the deceased person had a primary residence and where they lived the majority of the time. If they passed away at their home in Queens, for example, the correct Surrogate’s Court does need to be used.

This can sometimes complicate probate for those who are trying to deal with the legal process from a distance. For example, adult children may have grown up and moved to a different state. If you’re in this situation, you may be able to file some of the paperwork via an online system called the New York State Courts Electronic Filing (NYSCEF) system. This is also why it’s so important to work with an experienced and local law firm when dealing with New York State intestate succession.

Standing Up For You Assertively In Probate Disputes

Considering how emotional this time is and how complex New York’s probate process is, serious disputes have the potential to arise. Beneficiaries may contest a will or claim that the executor failed to uphold their fiduciary duty. A surrogate’s court judge will ultimately resolve these matters.

Our attorneys appear in surrogate’s court at least once a week and have represented parties on all sides of contentious probate litigation. We work to find the most efficient resolution possible while preparing for the possibility of a trial at all stages.

What Are The Steps In Probate And Administration?

The steps involved in probate and intestate adminstration are numerous and complex. This is a broad overview of what you can expect before going through probate or intestate administration:

  • Appointment: Secure your role officially in the case.
  • Asset management: Identify and gather the decedent’s assets, then address outstanding debts.
  • Financial responsibilities: Settle debts, including credit card balances, taxes, and any pending lawsuits. Manage real estate affairs.
  • Beneficiary communication: Keep all beneficiaries informed throughout the process.
  • Asset distribution: Allocate the decedent’s assets to the beneficiaries as dictated by the will or state law.

Making an error or doing one of the details of these tasks incorrectly can mean long, expensive fixes. It is wise to work with a probate or administration attorney in the first place to ensure you complete everything right.

Beyond Probate: Offering Comprehensive Legal Support

Our lawyers’ services extend beyond probate and intestate administration to advising trustees on their duties, creating and enforcing medical directives and managing the disposition of remains.

We understand the weight of responsibility that comes with administering an estate or serving as a trustee. Our firm is here to ensure you fulfill your role with confidence and legal compliance. Contact us to learn how we can support you through these vital tasks.

Contact Our Probate Lawyers For The Assistance You Deserve

If you are the executor of an estate, are facing litigation in surrogate’s court or simply have more questions about this process, we invite you to schedule a free initial consultation with our firm. Please call our Forest Hills law office at 718-690-7715 or send us an email.