New York – October 31, 2020

Hire a New York probate attorney who will file a copy of the will along with a certified copy of the death certificate of the will maker in the New York Surrogate Court. Each estate plan is unique to an individual and what they will leave behind upon their death.  The will, or trust dictates what happens to property, who will raise minor children, and how an individual will spend their last days, in the event of long term illnesses where an individual may not be able to speak for themselves, along with naming a person to carry out prescribed wishes (executor).  Closing out New York estates can be time-consuming and dragged out, depending upon the nature of the assets left to distribute and instances of beneficiaries contesting a will, requiring the service of a New York probate attorney.

Will administration.

A probate attorney will do their best to effectively and expediently administer the will to save an executor the frustration of holding up payment on bills and costs related to the decedent. These can include paying off creditors, burial costs, and upkeep on property for example, along with fees for professionals who perform services for the benefit of the estate such as appraisals.

Non-probate assets.

A last will and testament can only direct estate owned assets and property.  Ask an attorney about distinctions for non-probate assets that include those assets that have pre-designated beneficiaries, or joint interest with the right of survivorship that pass automatically to the named individual(s) upon a person’s death.  The importance of naming beneficiaries on insurance policies, retirement accounts and deeds to property  cannot be minimized.  These predetermined transfers will impact property that  a person owns in common with someone else and may cause beneficiaries to question the value of an estate because of misunderstandings regarding property transferred through the right of survivorships.

Surviving spouse probate-exempt assets.

 Pursuant to EPTL 5-3.1, families of the decedent are afforded important property rights under New York Law.  Specifically, the law provides that certain property be considered exempt property, thereby passing automatically to a surviving spouse regardless of intestate succession laws or the terms and provisions of a will.  In fact, up to $92,500 worth of property may be exempt.  The exempt property is enumerated by statute and addresses car ownership ($25,000), bank accounts ($25,000), household contents ($20,000), decedent’s clothing ($2,500), and domestic pets with food for 60 days, along with farm machinery ($20,000).  A New York probate attorney can review these items with surviving spouses.

Seek legal counsel.

The size of an estate, considerations to exempt probate assets, the named beneficiaries and other entanglements surrounding a Last Will  and Testament require the assistance of experienced legal counsel who understand the state and federal laws that will impact its administration.  Contact Attorney Ron Meyers with questions regarding the probate of a New York will.

 

Ron L. Meyers & Associates, PLLC

Address:  475 Park Avenue South, Suite 2100

Manhattan, NY 10016

Phone: 212-644-8787

 

Sources:

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/EPT

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/EPT/5-3.1

 

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