Estates and Probate

What You Need to Know About Probate Concerning Estates

When a person dies after preparing a Will it may be necessary to probate or prove the Will.  The Will is the operative instrument that provides for the transfer of the decedent's assets that do not automatically pass to another by means such as the operation of law, i.e. joint ownership.  Nassau estate lawyers, as well as estate attorneys throughout the state, often see situations where a person dies and all assets are payable to named beneficiaries listed on a retirement account or a life insurance policy.  Similarly, assets may be held jointly with others.  In these cases it is not necessary to probate a decedent's Will since all assets can be collected without Court authorization.  However, it may still be necessary to pay estate taxes.  A New York City estates and probate lawyer should be consulted to help with these situations. A proceeding in the New York Surrogate's Court called a probate proceeding must be commenced and completed in which the Court needs to be satisfied that the paper filed as the Last Will is authentic according to the applicable statutes and rules. Probate estates require a lot of attention.

Probate estate proceedings typically require detailed information regarding the decedent's family and assets.  The proceeding may involve issues dealing with proof of kinship, capacity of the decedent, Will contests, undue influence, spousal rights of election and the proper signing of the Will.  At the conclusion of a successful probate proceeding Letters Testamentary are issued by the Court to the estate Executor who is then authorized to administer the decedent's estate.

Since Letters Testamentary authorize an executor to act on behalf of an estate this document is essential to estate settlement.  In order to liquidate and collect a decedent's assets such as a bank account or brokerage account, a current court certified copy of this paper must be presented along with other necessary forms.  An estates and probate lawyer in New York City can help make sure that the paperwork is in order. The executor usually opens an estate bank account and the bank requires that this paper be filed showing the executor's authority to act and to open the account.

Typically, the Letters Testamentary that are given by the Court do not have any restrictions. The executor can then exercise all of the fiduciary powers that are allowed under the estate laws and rules.  Sometimes the letters may contain a restriction.  For example, the executor may be limited in collecting or selling an asset.  In these cases the executor would need to make a further application to the Court  to expand his powers if needed.  Also, the Court may require that a fiduciary file a surety bond before letters are given.  In most Wills there is a provision which directs that the Executor does not need to file a bond.  However, the Court has the discretion to require a bond if needed.

As a New York City estates and probate attorney, I have many years of experience working personally with clients helping them with the probate process including success with Will contests, kinship matters and obtaining Letters Testamentary.  The probate process can be complex.  I can help streamline the procedure.  My practice stands out in its personal attention to client needs.

Please come in to my office for a free consultation and meet with me to discuss your options. To contact my office located in Manhattan call (212) 355-2575. You can also e-mail for an appointment with an estates and probate attorney in New York City.

Client Reviews
Jules Haas helped me with managing the process in probate court for my father's estate through to its completion upon the sale of my father's house. He was knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in submitting documentation to the probate court, explaining procedures to me, and advising me as to the progress of my case. His support staff was also very helpful. He made what for me created so much anxiety into something manageable where I could see progress every step of the way. His fees were very reasonable. I am super grateful to him for all the help he has provided and strongly recommend his services.
★★★★★
I found Mr. Haas after being misguided by a former attorney. Mr. Jules Haas took our case which involved an estate/trust dispute. What initially seemed like an impossible and overwhelming legal fight was now in the hands of someone who had the integrity and legal expertise to win our case. Mr Haas' attention to detail and his expert knowledge base, skillfully and successfully guided us through an intricate legal process. I am very thankful and grateful to Mr. Jules Haas for representing our interest and ultimately winning. Bringing about a peace of mind we needed. Thank You Devida Nedd
★★★★★
I was in need of a guardianship attorney and I hired the services of Jules M. Haas' Law firm. The service of counselor Haas and his staff, was very profesional and the case was handled in a timely matter. I would strongly recommend his services Angel Guevara
★★★★★
I strongly recommend Jules Haas. I have worked with him for two years and he has provided so much support and followed through with everything he promised he would do. His support staff is just as helpful! We had an interesting case and he helped to solve each part of it legally and was very thorough. Thank you for everything you have done to finalize our families estate Robyn Stafford
★★★★★