Probate is the court process in which the terms of a decedent’s will are presented to the Surrogate’s Court for validation. If the Petition for probate is approved, Letters Testamentary are granted to the Executor, who will then be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s estate. The Executor will be responsible for distribution of assets, property and possessions after all debts are paid. In a probate proceeding, the Executor is responsible for:
- Locating and making an inventory of all property and transferring it to the estate;
- Paying outstanding bills and taxes;
- Collecting debts owed to the estate;
- Investing and managing assets during the probate proceeding; and
- Distribution of property to beneficiaries at the end of the probate proceeding.
If an individual dies without a will, the court permits a family member or friend to submit a petition to serve as Administrator to distribute the decedent’s estate in accordance with the New York State intestacy laws. Both probate and estate administration proceedings are open to public viewing and can be very complex and time consuming, especially if there is litigation concerning contested issues.
Let our office help you and your family with your Probate or Estate Administration matter so that your loved one’s legacy and final wishes are properly effectuated.