NY State Probate Process

You Should Have a Good New York State Probate Lawyer

Probate is the procedure by which a person's Will is given validity by the Court.  The probate New York State process can be complex. A formal petition, the original Will, witness affidavits and proper notice to family members and others are among the papers required in the New York State probate process.

Probate of a Last Will occurs in the Surrogate's Court.  For the most part, there is a Surrogate's Court located in each county in New York such as the Queens Surrogate's Court, Kings (Brooklyn) Surrogate's Court and New York (Manhattan) Surrogate's Court.

The New York Probate Process is guided by two primary sources of law.  One is the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law ("EPTL") and the other is the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act ("SCPA").  These statutes, along with various Court decisions and rules, provide the basis for probating a New York Will.  When a person dies without a Last Will, such a situation results in an Intestate Estate.  The statutes provide different procedures in these cases, as a state probate lawyer in New York can explain.  Whether an estate is subject to probate or intestate administration proceedings, the Surrogate's Court requires that it be provided with all detailed information regarding a decedent including names and addresses of next of kin ("distributees") and assets.

It may not always be easy to provide complete information as to a person's next of kin.  In many instances, where the only surviving relatives are cousins or more distant relations, such persons whereabouts and family connection to the decedent can be hard to find and to prove.  Relatives might be scattered throughout many states or countries and they may not have had any contact with the decedent for decades, if at all.  These issues are often resolved in Kinship Hearings.  These hearings require that the Court be provided with the testimony of disinterested persons and certified records such as birth, death and marriage certificates all of which are needed to demonstrate kinship to the decedent.

The vast majority of Probate cases do not involve Estate Litigation such as Will Contests or persons contesting a Will.  However, these types of controversies do arise on occasion and require extensive involvement by New York Probate Lawyers to resolve. In the case of a Will Contest, SCPA Section 1404 provides an aggrieved party the opportunity to examine documents relating to the preparation of the Last Will and to take the testimony of the attorney who drafted the Will and the Attesting Witnesses, even before any formal objections to the Will are filed.

As a New York state probate attorney, I have represented many clients and helped them with probate New York State procedures. I work closely with my clients in preparing the numerous Court papers, representing them in the probate Court proceedings and completing the probate process.

I graduated in the top 10% of my class at The New England School of Law in Boston and served on the “Law Review.” I was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1979 and admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1982.  I was admitted to the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. I started my own law practice in New York City in 1985.

For personalized attentive service and a free case evaluation with a state probate attorney in New York, you can contact me by telephone (212) 355-2575, fax (212) 751-5911 or e-mail

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
★★★★★