Probate Court and Wills

Experienced With the Probate Surrogate's Court And Wills

Probate is the process by which a last will is validated by the court.  In New York, the Surrogate's Court is responsible for the probate of wills and Administration proceedings where a person dies intestate or without a last will. Probate proceedings involve probate court wills. A New York City probate lawyer can help you understand this process.

Typically, probate proceedings result in the appointment of an Executor and Administration proceedings result in the appointment of an Administrator.  The Executor and Administrator are fiduciaries who are responsible for the administration and settlement of a decedent's estate.  This involves the collection of estate assets, the payment of debts, expenses and taxes and the distribution of the estate assets.

In a typical case the following are some of the steps that occur in the probate process:

1. Preliminary Investigation - after a person dies it is important to locate or search for the decedent's Last Will.  This document may be found among the individual's personal papers or it may be locked up in a safe deposit box.  In such a situation the Court can be asked to issue an Order allowing a decedent's apartment to be searched or to have the safe-deposit box opened to search for the Will.  Also, steps should be taken to determine the name and location of all of the person's named as beneficiaries in the Will as well as the decedent's distributees.  It is the responsibility of the individual named as executor to promptly put together all of this material as best as possible so that the probate proceeding can be expedited.  Sometimes it may be difficult to determine or locate all of the descendent's next of kin.  It may be necessary to hire a genealogist to determine the family tree or a private investigator to search for an heir whose whereabouts cannot be determined.  The process to locate a person's missing heirs can delay estate settlement.

2.  Preparing and Filing of Probate Papers -  once the preliminary papers are gathered it is helpful to consult with a qualified probate lawyer in New York City who can assist with the completion of the necessary information and documents needed for probating the Will.  Additional information regarding the decedent's assets and debts and business and financial affairs can be found and assessed at this time. A decedent's business and financial matters can be hard to compile.   A good source of information aside from the ordinary records maintained by the decedent is recent tax returns and mail delivery which might contain current account statements.  Some information may need additional investigation especially if the decedent held web-based accounts.  Probate can be a very complex and often confusing process since the rules contained in the New York estate laws must be complied with and satisfied before letters testamentary can be issued to an executor.  Letters Testamentary authorize the executor to act as the estate representative.  These letters are given after the Will is admitted to probate.

As a New York City probate attorney, I have many years of experience representing persons in connection with probate court wills and administration proceedings.  I assist my clients with the preparation and filing of all New York Surrogate's Court papers and the administration and settlement of the decedent's estate after they are appointed as fiduciary.

If you have any questions just call (212) 355-2575 and someone will assist you or e-mail us for a free appointment with a 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
★★★★★