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Probate Lawyers in White Plains

Helping You Settle Your Loved One’s Estate

If your loved one recently passed away, you may now be entering a process called probate. Probate administration proceedings can be lengthy and have the potential to cost you thousands of dollars in court fees. Although the probate process is common, having a team of experienced probate lawyers on your side is the best way to navigate the process quickly to avoid delays in distributing assets.

Whether you are an executor of the estate or simply a concerned family member, our team of estate administration attorneys is here to help. We can walk you through the probate process, helping you navigate complicated situations. Will contests, vague legal language, and the lack of a will can all slow the probate process down, leading to extra fees. Our team will work with you to ensure the process goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

At the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, we have decades of experience working with clients in probate law. We are confident that we can help you no matter what your probate issue is. For more information about our services and to talk to an experienced member of our team, call us today at 914-533-1756.

What is the Probate Process?

Probate is the legal process in which the court validates the last will and testament that your loved one left. If the will is found to be authentic, then the court will oversee the distribution of assets, beneficiary designations, and creditor claims. If the will is not found authentic, the court may contest the will, leading to a longer probate process. The probate process is similar in most states, although there are some slight differences to be aware of.

In New York, the probate process is as follows:

  • Filing the will. The executor files the will in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where your loved one lived.
  • Appointment of executor. The court appoints the executor of the estate, who may be named in the will. If no executor is named, the court will choose a qualified individual to administer the estate.
  • Notification and publication. The executor must notify beneficiaries and any potential creditors of the estate.
  • Inventory and appraisal. The executor inventories the estate assets and gets appraisals for any real property.
  • Debts and taxes. The executor uses estate funds to pay taxes and pay off creditors if necessary.
  • Asset distribution. All remaining assets are distributed to beneficiaries according to the instructions left in the will.
  • Final accounting. The executor provides an account of the estate’s transactions to the court and its beneficiaries.
  •  Closing the estate. The court will review the final accounting. If approved, the court will formally close the estate.

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

There are many things a probate lawyer on our team can do. Generally, a probate attorney on our team will walk you through the probate process, ensuring you have completed all of your duties as the executor of the estate. We understand that going through the probate process without a legal background can be overwhelming, and even the slightest mistake could prolong the probate process or cause legal consequences.

Below are just a few of the specific duties our team can help you with:

  •  Identifying and creating an asset inventory
  • Paying outstanding debts
  • Paying taxes on behalf of the deceased
  • Managing the estate’s finances, including opening a bank account in the estate’s name
  • Locating the will of the deceased
  • Preparing and filing court documents
  • Collecting life insurance policies
  • Paying estate and income taxes
  • Notifying beneficiaries and creditors
  • Transferring assets to beneficiaries and creditors
  • Allocating assets to the surviving spouse
  •  Overseeing distribution of assets if there is no will

Who Needs a Probate Attorney?

If you have been tasked to settle your loved one’s estate, it is very likely that you will need a probate attorney. To avoid probate delays, you must execute every step of the probate process correctly and without mistakes. Neglecting to fill out paperwork correctly or forgetting to disclose certain information can lead to lengthy pauses and could even cause legal trouble down the road.

If your loved one died without a will, hiring a probate attorney is in your best interests. When someone dies without a will, it is referred to as dying “intestate.” This means that the state gets control of the estate assets, distributing them as they see fit. If you are assigned as an executor of an estate like this, the court will be watching your situation very carefully. Our team can help you divvy up estate assets to avoid contests from family members.

Should I Consult a Probate Lawyer?

When your loved one passes away, the last thing you want to do is spend an extended time in court dividing up their assets. Unfortunately, the probate process has the potential to take weeks and even months, especially if there are any mistakes made that cause delays. As the executor of an estate, you have a legal duty to close the estate in a timely manner. This can be difficult to do without an extensive legal background.

At the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, an estate lawyer on our team would be happy to assist you with the entire probate process. We can offer legal advice and help you file and submit forms to the court in a timely manner. We can also help you inventory assets, alert creditors, and pay taxes on behalf of the deceased. Please don’t feel like you must go through this challenging process alone. Contact our office today by calling 914-533-1756 for experienced legal guidance.