You will be told the differences between Administration and Probate proceedings, the role of the fiduciary and the role of the attorney. We can explain all the steps to Probate if there was a Will or Administration if there was no Will. We will explain your rights and choices in simple terms in a face to face meeting, or if you prefer by email, phone or zoom.
If you are the person named in the Will as Executor, we will assist you in marshaling the assets of the estate, negotiating and paying the creditors and the transfer of property.
We offer the choice of hourly retainer or a retainer based on a percentage of the assets of the estate.
The transfer of real property and closing is always included in a fee based on percentage and in most cases, payment for the majority of the fee takes place at closing.
Please email me with any questions, no charge, at Evan@EvanRogersLaw.com
Most people understand the importance of creating a Last Will and Testament for estate planning purposes, yet many of those named in a Will are confused and uncertain as to the proper procedure required after the decedent’s passing. As an experienced attorney in Surrogate’s court matters, I can explain the specific instructions left in the will and provide counsel on the necessary legal proceedings.
The Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the affairs of those deceased in The State of New York, and the named Executor of a Will typically initiates a Probate proceeding with the Surrogate’s court as soon after the decedent’s passing as practical. If there was no Will, the estate will be handled as an Administration, as contrasted to a Probate.
An initial duty of the Surrogate’s Court is to verify the legal validity of the Will and provide a forum to resolve any challenge to that will. The Executor may need to provide evidence as to the creation of the will. Those who have what is known as standing, such as heirs or beneficiaries, can contest a will.
In most cases, the Executor knows or can reasonably determine who creditors of the estate are, but the time the estate is in Probate allows any others with claims to come forward. It is important to verify the validity of these claims before expending estate assets unnecessarily.
After the debts of the estate are paid and the final expenses and taxes have been accounted for, the Executor must move forward with the distribution of assets. This may involve selling an asset so as to distribute its proceeds among various beneficiaries or effecting a change in title from the name of the decedent to the beneficiary.
If there is no Will, the estate will be administered under the laws of The State of New York, with the court appointing an administrator, typically the closet living relative.