After someone dies, certain activities will occur based on the legally executed estate planning documents, such as a will, or trust stating how to divide their assets. The personal representative, or executor of a will, or trust is formally identified at that time regarding asset distribution of the estate.  If a probate lawyer was not already in place with regard to the will, the executor of the estate can hire a New York probate attorney who will file a copy of the will along with a certified copy of the death certificate of the will maker in the New York Surrogate Court, but it is important to determine if an estate can avoid probate actions altogether before any paperwork is filed with Surrogate Court.

Non-probate assets.

In New York not all assets are legally required to go through probate, so if an estate is made up of non-probate assets, the process can be bypassed for parties interested in a timely administration of an estate.  Non-probate assets include things such as trusts, life insurance, assets that are designated by an account to be “paid on death,” or “transferred on death,” retirement and pension accounts and certain jointly owned properties with “rights of survivorship” for example.  If an estate is made up of these sorts of assets, probate may not be necessary at all.

 Small estates.

When a Decedent (the person who died) had less than $50,000 of personal property then it is considered a small estate, and is formally called a voluntary administration. It does not matter if the Decedent had a Will or not. Personal property are things that belong to a person not including real property. In some cases, there is a possibility of a wrongful death or other lawsuit in the future. In that case, a probate proceeding or an administration proceeding should be filed instead, even if there is less than $50,000 of personal property at the time of Decedent’s death. Since each case is unique and asset distribution will need to be addressed, it is best to consult with Ron Meyers, a knowledgeable probate attorney in New York.

 Plan ahead to avoid probate.

Attorney Meyers can be instrumental is estate planning guidance that finds a way around the expensive formal probate process, generally costing significant time and money for most parties involved. The probate process can diminish the value of an estate and beneficiaries have to wait increased time periods before they have access to any inheritances. Avoiding probate also removes other hurdles that include will contests, accounting document contests, creditor claims, and legal proceedings to remove named executors for breaches in fiduciary duty.

The assistance of experienced legal counsel who understand New York State and federal laws that will impact its administration.  Contact Attorney Ron Meyers with probate questions and concerns if you are wondering if you can avoid probate, need to identify potential hurdles of probate and wonder about the timeline attached to your specific case.

 Ron L. Meyers & Associates, PLLC

Address:  475 Park Avenue South, Suite 2100

Manhattan, NY 10016

Phone: 212-644-8787



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