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If you have made a will, you will probably need the help of a New York probate proceeding attorney after your death. Once you die, your will is presented to the court, in a process known as probate proceeding. Probate proceedings, are a court process, which occur after your death. This is a process through which the terms of your will are read to the judge, and approved. The assets, property, and possessions of your estate are given to your beneficiaries – pending successful payment of any liens/debts.
In New York State, probate proceedings occur as a part of the “Surrogate’s Court,” in the county where you were living when you died. Your assets, property, etc, are all part of your estate. The person appointed to handle your affairs is the executor. The legal document, which our New York probate attorneys help draft, are called “letters testamentary.” Estates with a value of over $30,000 must be probated when there is a will. If your estate has no will, it is administered – not probated. Assets like proceeds of insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc, and other accounts with a named beneficiary are not subject to the probate process.
In probate proceedings, our attorneys help the executor file a petition in Surrogate’s court with the original will. The petition will mention things like the date of death, the beneficiaries in the will, heirs at law – in case the will is invalid, and the value of the estate. All individuals who have a claim – will be notified by our probate proceeding attorneys of the probate proceeding. Executors can also get compensation for their work, based on the value of the estate. Executors are responsible for things like locating all property and transferring it to the estate, paying bills + taxes, collecting debts owed to the estate, investing + managing assets during the proceedinngs, and distributing the property to the various parties.
During the proceedings, the judge will look to ensure that the will is executed fairly and properly. The judge will interpret the will and make sure you were of sound mind when you signed the will. It’s important that the judge not suspect you weren’t unduly influenced. If those factors can be proven, then it’s the judge’s job to ensure your wishes are carried out. Usually, the judge, in conjunction with our probate proceeding lawyers, will read your will and discuss its contents.