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Articles Archive for September 2011

Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, Taxes »

[24 Sep 2011 | 5 Comments | ]

Every estate may be subject to two types of death taxes, depending on the total value of all assets including the taxable estate and to whom the assets pass. The taxable estate is not the same as the probate estate. The taxable estate includes both probate and non-probate assets.

Probate and Estate Administration »

[24 Sep 2011 | 4 Comments | ]

The executor (or administrator if there is no will), typically under the guidance and direction of a lawyer, is personally responsible for the proper handling and settlement of the decedent’s estate. The executor or administrator is required to (among other things):
– Notify heirs-at-law and creditors of the probate proceedings.
– Take possession of, inventory, preserve and invest the probate assets of the deceased.
– Collect all income, such as rents, interest and dividends, demand and collect all debts, claims and notes due.
– Manage any business owned by the deceased.
– Determine the names, …

Probate and Estate Administration »

[24 Sep 2011 | 2 Comments | ]

There certainly are some advantages to avoiding probate. These include the following:
Minimizing fees. Although probate is fairly streamlined in New York compared to states like California and Florida, it does involve lawyer fees and court filing fees. This can be an expensive proposition in many cases. This is especially true if you own real estate in a different state, because probate proceedings would be required in both states. These fees can be reduced or eliminated by avoiding probate. Many estate planning attorneys will use a living trust to avoid …

Probate and Estate Administration »

[24 Sep 2011 | One Comment | ]

As a purely legal matter, you always are free to handle any matters, including probate, on your own. However, as a practical matter, I would advise against it. The rules and requirements of probate are very technical. A lay person typically does not fair well without an attorney in the probate process. An experienced probate attorney knows the procedures and rules for handling a probate proceeding so that the process goes smoothly. A person who tries to handle probate without an attorney also risks unnecessary delay associated with failure to …

Probate and Estate Administration, Wills »

[24 Sep 2011 | 3 Comments | ]

What if the New York Decedent Left No Will? If someone dies without a will (and has not used any other legal method to transfer property at death, such as a trust), the person had died intestate. The distribution of an intestate estate is governed by the law of New York State and is known as intestate administration.

Probate and Estate Administration, Wills »

[24 Sep 2011 | 4 Comments | ]

Are Most Wills Admitted to New York Probate Without a Will Contest? Most Wills are admitted to probate without objection. Often, a dissatisfied family member says that he or she contest the probate of their relative’s Will. However, only certain individuals can object to the probate of a Will and only on certain grounds.

Probate and Estate Administration »

[24 Sep 2011 | 7 Comments | ]

How Long Does it Take to Complete New York Probate? That depends. Technically, the term “probate” refers only to the process of having the will accepted by the Surrogate’s Court and the executor appointed, a process that can be completed within a month. However, many people, when referring to the term “probate,” use it to describe the entire process of administering an estate, which takes significantly longer.

Probate and Estate Administration, Wills »

[24 Sep 2011 | 7 Comments | ]

Not all property owned by the deceased is subject to probate. For example, life insurance will pass directly to the designated beneficiary and does not require probate unless the beneficiary is the insured’s estate or executor.