NEW YORK – September 27, 2020

New York Surrogate Court probate proceedings can be time consuming and drawn out, but small, or simplified estates may allow the movement of the last will and testament to be expedited.  When a person dies leaving less than $50,000 in personal property, with, or without a will, it could fall within voluntary administration and the Surrogate Court may allow individuals to distribute assets to those who have a legal right to inherit.  An experienced New York Probate attorney can guide small estate probate actions to make certain estate matters are closed out quickly and beneficiaries have access to any assets the decedent has left for them, after clearing up all outstanding debts.

Small estate.

New York probate attorneys can assist when estates with real property are valued at less than $50,000,  These are deemed “small estates” and pass through probate court quickly when the executor is efficient, and understands the prescribed duties that are similar to those that someone overseeing larger estates would handle.  The efficiency is contingent upon the filing of the proper paperwork and adhering to the court’s scheduled timeline of necessary events to close out a probate action.

Executor action.

Executors of the estate will need to file a will, copy of the death certificate and a small estate affidavit petition with the New York Surrogate Court in the region where the decedent lived.  The heirs must be listed on the probate petition and notification of the probate action must be served upon them.  After all parties to the estate have been put on notice, New York Surrogate Court has the authority to deem the will’s validity and move forward with the probate process.  Even though the small estate affidavit petition is available in the self-service court documents, it is always wise to seek guidance from legal counsel to make sure all of the appropriate documents are filed correctly and there are no detrimental hurdles along the way.  The heirs are commonly known as distributees, who will need to sign waivers allowing the estate to pass through probate, so contested action complications do not arise.

Will determination.

When the New York Surrogate court determines that the last will and testament is valid and the deceased person’s assets fall below the small estate threshold of $50,000, the court should allow the estate to pass through to the point where the executor of the will can distribute the property remaining to the named distributees.

Seek legal counsel.

Executors of a last will and testament of a small estate should make an appointment with Attorney Ron Meyers to make sure they are reviewing New York Surrogate Court probate documents, and filing them in accordance with all activities relevant to the probate of an estate.  Consulting with a seasoned legal professional will reduce the stress on the executor and remaining family members who may be anxious to close out the estate of a loved one.


Ron L. Meyers & Associates, PLLC

Address:  475 Park Avenue South, Suite 2100

Manhattan, NY 10016

Phone: 212-644-8787




0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.