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Fact:

Recent estimates put the annual cost of probate in America at $2 billion, with up to 75 percent of this cost going to legal costs.

Probate matters are the most common types of legal proceedings that individuals and families face in Long Island, NY. Although the proceedings are common, the risks associated with them are high, and when handled carelessly, they can lead to long-standing financial repercussions for the people involved.

Life can be difficult during grief. Sadly, several issues have to be dealt with, including proving a will legally and paying off debts and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.

This is why you must enlist probate lawyer Long Island services to get an expert whom you can trust and rely on to know the inner workings of the probate court in the county and to represent your interests the right way.

At our firm, we bring decades of probate experience to the table, ready to represent you and your family.

The Long Island Probate Process

When a person passes away in Long Island, their assets go through a process that we call probate. Through this process,  the executor is given the mandate to distribute the process as per the will (if one exists) and takes care of any debts that the decedent left behind.

Only the assets that are owned by the decedent alone are up for probate. The assets don’t include property held in a living trust, jointly held property, or property with a beneficiary designation, such as a retirement account and life insurance.

Taking Possession of the Decedent’s Property

The named fiduciary cannot take possession of the estate assets until the court has approved the appointment. Before the administrator is appointed, the court must be petitioned. A certified copy of the death certificate must accompany the petition.

Fiduciary Bonds

If the will requires, then the executor will have to take out a bond before the appointment, making sure that the fiduciary carries out their lawful duties. The executor has to pay the bond from surety companies that provide this service. We have dealt with these companies before, and we can guide you when the time comes.

Do You Need to use probate lawyer Long Island Services during Probate?

When you lose a loved one, the will must be proved in a probate court in the Long Island before the assets are distributed to the heirs, debts paid, and their last wishes fulfilled. This process is called probate.

When this happens, the probate court names a person – the executor – to oversee this process. The job might be complicated and hard, and the executor might require legal assistance, especially disputes and complications.

Under Long Island law, the executor has to follow strict guidelines that have been laid down. You might decide to talk to us to help you realize the executor isn’t doing his job properly, or if you notice errors in the will or if the will is subject to fraud.

What Do We Offer?

Providing meaningful action for individuals and businesses involved in probate disputes requires a specialized skillset. It calls for practical know-how in actions that involve specialized areas of probate law and the ability to guide in situations that usually involve family and business conflict.

We pride ourselves un providing effective and efficient legal advocacy in probate law. We cater to each client’s unique needs, as well as handling complex matters throughout Long Island.

Not only do we stay current with the laws of the state, but we also strive to add to the practice of law by sticking to guidelines, while being creative at the same time.

The probate process can easily become complicated, especially when there are multiple heirs involved. Disputes can arise regarding the validity of the will and how these rules need to be executed. Resolving the issues will require legal intervention from a probate lawyer in Long Island.

To uphold the rights in all situations, you must work with a skilled lawyer on the island. We understand how much the resolution of these cases means to the family and business, and we have the experience to make sure you enjoy a positive resolution always.

As a law firm that has handled probate issues for decades in Long Island, we offer the following services to you.

Probate Litigation

The probate process is never straightforward and will result in disagreements among the heirs, family members, and executors. When this happens, probate litigation is required in instances where disagreements arise.

Our probate lawyer in Long Island can help you if you are involved in probate litigation, making sure that your interests are fully represented.

So, why do you need a “probate lawyer Long Island“ for litigation? The probate process is usually emotional for everyone involved because it is attached to the decedent. Some of the reasons that probate litigation might be necessary include:

  • Differences with the interpretation of the will.
  • Disagreements regarding the legality of the will.
  • Disagreements that regard the status of the executor.
  • Disagreements on the division of the assets.

All these situations are possible reasons for the probate process to begin. If any of these conflicts have touched you in one way or another, you will need the help of an experienced Long Island probate lawyer to help you understand the legal position in these circumstances.

However, before you initiate the probate process, you must understand whether the issue at hand needs you to initiate litigation. We are here to assist you in making this decision, don’t hesitate to call us.

Note: it is possible to remove a lawyer listed as an executor by the decedent. You can choose to do so because leaving them in place can be an expensive affair. Removing the executor isn’t easy and can mean more time added to the probate process.

Probate Disputes

During probate administration, issues usually arise, and these might leave the beneficiaries without the funds that they need or to which they are entitled. We understand how burdensome a dispute can be, and we wish that everyone doesn’t face this situation alone. Our Long Island probate lawyer is here to guide you through the process and mitigate any obstacles you might encounter.

The issues that arise and that can lead to probate disputes are varied and, at times, complex. Some of the common reasons include the following:

  • Suspicions that an executor has mismanaged the assets left in his possession.
  • A will that was drafted when the will-maker was mentally unstable.
  • A forged or illegitimate will.

These are just a few instances when Long Island residents have disputed the process of inheritance. Well, every situation is unique and different, and even if you don’t spot your situation above, it is wise that you consult a probate lawyer in Long Island.

Beneficiary Disputes

When the probate process begins, it is not uncommon to see disputes between the beneficiaries come up. Whether the individuals are beneficiaries of the will or not, disputes usually tear the family apart.

The sad thing is that the beneficiaries that cause the disputes are usually unrelenting, and will go to great lengths to make sure they get what they want. This is when you need to work with a “probate lawyer Long Island” to reduce this pressure. Some beneficiaries take advantage of the fact that you don’t have the legal capability – you have all you need when you work with us.

Our probate lawyer on Long Island is ready to assist individuals and business partners involved in disputes. We fight for your interests and legal rights to make things easy.

Some of the common causes of disagreements between beneficiaries include:

  • Mismanagement of assets by an executor or a personal representative.
  • Denial of payment to creditors by the fiduciary.
  • Misinter[retation of a will.
  • Inheritance dispute.

Regardless of the causes of the dispute between beneficiaries, it is wise to talk to us because we have the experience handling these types of disputes.

Will Contests

The will needs to be valid and properly interpreted for it t be useful to the beneficiaries. The will is a legally binding document that dictates how the decedents’ assets, property, and estate are to be divided among the heirs.

Unfortunately, heirs might find a way to contest the validity of the will or the circumstances under which it was prepared. Will contests can arise due to various reasons.

  • The will wasn’t signed in accordance with the New York state laws. Every state has its own laws that govern the preparation of a will. Failure to follow these laws can make it invalid. First, the will must be signed by the will-maker in the presence of two witnesses. They must all be in the same room, and each one must sign the will as others are watching. Many people assume that a will executed in a lawyers’ office is valid, but surprisingly this isn’t the case. Failure to sign a will as required is the top reason why wills get contested.
  • Lack of testamentary capacity to sign the will. If it is found that the testator signed the will without understanding the implications of the document, then this can be a reason to contest it.
  • Undue Influence. This happens when the testator was under immense pressure to sign he will – he didn’t do it of his free will.
  • Fraudulent will. This is where the testator was tricked into signing the will. This is usually common in the elderly that have lost testamentary capacity.

The moment you suspect that the will isn’t valid or you have a reason to contest it, you need to work with a Long Island probate lawyer who understands the need for legal representation. We are ready to help you in any way we can.

Probate Administration

When a person with a will passes on, the process of administering the estate begins. This is called probate administration. The process aims to verify the validity of a will and then transfer the assets to the designated beneficiaries.

The person who handles this process is called an executor. The task of administering the estate can, at times, overwhelm the person, especially when other beneficiaries have a problem with the way the estate is being executed.

We have a lot of experience handling probate administration situations, and we do this while protecting the interests and rights of the client.

As an executor, you can run into problems with the execution of the estate. The responsibilities of administering the estate can be tough at first, but remember that you have to do your best. If you are having issues with the probate administration process on Long Island, it is wise to contact a “probate lawyer Long Island” to help you out.

Meeting with a Probate Lawyer in Long Island

You will need our services when handling complicated estates in Long Island. When we talk about complicated estates, we mean:

  • If the estate is not exempt from taxes. The probate court has to determine what gets paid first.
  • Where there exist doubts about the validity of the will.
  • When the decedent died intestate and was married with kids and left behind a substantial estate.
  • Where some dependents have been deliberately left out of the will.
  • When the estate has complicated clauses such as assets held in a trust.
  • An insolvent estate or when there is doubt about the solvency of the estate.
  • If there are assets that are held out of Long Island.
  • In the event of a disagreement between the potential heirs and the executor.

When you do things the right way, you will save money in the process. Today we look at how to reduce the time we spend on your case, and how to make things cheaper.

To save time and money on the first appointment, make sure you prepare well for the first meeting.

Research

Before you meet us, we hope you have done enough research to know that we have the right services for you. If you are confused, call us to talk to a professional about the case so that we help you make the decision.

If you have any doubts about our expertise, check out our online reviews, or ask for testimonials. All we want si that when you come to us, you are comfortable with what we offer, and you trust the process.

Research shouldn’t only focus on the lawyer; it should also focus on your legal issue. For instance, if you are coming to us for help with a will, then it is just right that you check out the needs for a valid will in new york. If it is about a probate proceeding, then look into probate, and what it does, what a probate lawyer does, and what issues regarding probate you might be able to handle on your own without our assistance.

The more you learn, the more efficient the questions you ask us will be during the first meeting.

You don’t have to traverse the county o find your answers – all you need is Google.

The Consultation

Consultations vary widely depending on the lawyer. In our case, we prefer face to face consultations though we can also do them on the phone. We don’t want to waste your time, so we shall get into the nitty-gritty of the issue at hand so that we can analyze what you are up against and your chances of success.

Be prepared to talk in detail about the case. Always be prepared.

The First Meeting

After you decide to work with us, you sign a fee agreement and start the relationship with us. The first meeting will involve discussions about the case and the decedent and your personal and financial information. The lawyer we assign to your case will spend a lot of time coming up with a plan.

We will seek to understand whether there is anyone else involved in the case and the relationship you have with the person.

Come with documents that are vital to the case. Try to have the documents organized logically before you come in to meet with us. At times, it is hard tracking down a will. The good thing is that we understand the various ways to track down wills, and we shall assist you in getting the will on time. This will save you on time. If a will doesn’t exist, we shall advise you on the intestacy rules and what to do next.

What we Offer in Terms of Merits

If you have ever lost a loved one, you probably have an idea of the probate process and how it is carried out.  Thinking about the process and the kind of legal assistance you need can help you easier.

The best way to prepare yourself for probate is by working with a probate attorney.  We are experienced in offering you the necessary assistance. Our qualified and licensed experts wear many hats. Besides helping you handle probate court matters, we also provide you with the exceptional legal advice necessary to make the process a success.

Some of the benefits you get from working with us are as follows:

We Manage All Your Concerns

Several issues always arise during probate proceedings. We help you deal with individuals who are not happy with the terms left in the will by the decedent. We also respond to any legal questions you may have concerning your case. We handle all your concerns and those of your executor or personal representative.

We are always on standby, intending to provide you with all the help you need. Our main goal is to see the estate distributed according to the desires of your deceased loved one. Without our proper legal guidance, the court’s decisions may not be in favour of your family.

We Provide the Best Guidance

Going through the probate process can be an uphill task if you do not have the right people to guide you on legal matters. We make you understand the benefits of allowing your loved one’s estate to go through probate.

We review the estate documents and advise you what other paperwork you must get before filing a petition in the probate court. If your relative died intestate, we provide you with the best way to ensure that the estate does not end up in the wrong hands.

We Have an Effective Team of Professionals

The probate court does not require the personal representative or executor to be a qualified lawyer. However, it expects these individuals to carry out their duties according to legal regulations.

Our probate lawyers make it possible for the executor and representative to meet these standards. We help them complete their tasks based on high legal standards.

We also ensure that all their actions are done in good faith, with your family’s interest at heart. We also work with the executor to get the right court approval to manage your estate affairs.

We Have a History Handling Cases that Involve Minors

The probate court is often more lenient in cases that involve minors. We assist you through such processes, especially where an individual did not leave a will. We understand that deciding on cases involving minors is often left to closest family members than the probate court.

We are always determined to protect the rights of any minors involved in our client’s case and have a history of success in such situations.

We Minimize Loss

We make the probate process very manageable for you. We put into consideration that this is a legal process that needs to be completed on legal terms. We also understand that every affair concerning the deceased’s estate must be carried out through the probate court.

We understand the court system more than you can imagine. We assist you to overcome the many limitations that you may face as the case progresses. In case the decedent had secured some of their assets in a trust, we follow up to ensure they are transferred to the rightful heirs.

Generally, we reduce the risk of losing time, finances and property during the process. Working with us qualifies you for better outcomes for your family. Trusting us with the entire process poses a very big difference in the success of your case.

We Specialize in Handling Creditors

Not once have we heard of cases where an executor was tricked into clearing phony debts on behalf of a deceased relative. Once an executor has been appointed by the probate court, it is their responsibility to notify creditors and financial institutions of the death.

We work with the executor to ensure that every claim made by creditors is valid. We assist you in identifying any criminal activities associated with this step of the process.

In case some debts fall outside the limitations of the state, we help you carry out the right procedures to nullify them. Our experience in handling creditor claims gives us an upper hand when it comes to handling them.

We Eliminate Complexities

Having been in the legal business for many years, we have mastered all the strategies needed to maneuver all the complexities associated with the case. We are mindful of the legalities of our actions. We are always careful about our decisions concerning your case. We carry out our affairs in a way that makes the entire process simpler.

Our “probate lawyer Long Island” understands the probate court checklist in and out. This way, you do not have to worry about the next steps of your probate case. You also need not worry about missing any step of the process.

We Focus on Results

We accomplish all our tasks more expertly. We do not leave our work half-way. We value results and work towards achieving them on your behalf. Our team of probate lawyers understands how to achieve the best for you.

We work with our clients to come up with a list of tasks that need to be completed and then work towards meeting their demands. When necessary, we also help you with some of the tasks not highlighted in our initial agreement.

We are always happy to share some of our past clients with you, and the success achieved on their behalf. We have a track record of handling tough cases to completion. Once we are done with your case, we occasionally follow up as we deem appropriate. We normally do this because we have a passion for protecting your interests and those of your deceased relative.

Estate planning lawyer

Frequently Asked Questions

The major goal of probate is to protect the rights of the heirs and other people that have an interest in the decedent’s estate. It determines what the estate owes to creditors and in taxes, and seeks to pay them off. The aim is to make sure the process is straightforward, and any disputes are dealt with.

Normally, the will names an executor to oversee the probate of the estate. This can be a family member, business associate, friend or a financial institution. If there is no will, or if the will doesn’t designate an executor, then the probate court will designate a personal representative to handle the probate process.

Probate isn’t necessary if the property is owned solely by the decedent, or the property is less than $50,000 in value. In this case, all that is required to transfer the property is an affidavit form. Property that is owned jointly with the rights of survivorship also automatically passes to the co-owner. Additionally, life insurance payments and funds in accounts that have beneficiary designations don’t pass through probate.

The major costs you will incur in probate include the court costs, the costs of putting up a probate bond if necessary (unless the will waives it) and fees paid to the lawyer and personal representative. The funds that you pay for these expenses come from the estate.

The value of the estate determines the court filing fees. The money you pay the attorney depends on the complexity of the estate. Once we have an idea of the estate, we shall estimate the total cost of the process. We make sure you understand the fee arrangement before working with us.

the estate must pay federal and estate taxes. The state and federal governments have to charge taxes on the income that the estate earns from the day the decedent passes on till the completion of probate. The values of the assets that are owned by the decedent determine the taxes that are paid.

Whatever the probate issue you have, we are ready to listen. Come so that we sit down together to get the best solution to the issue.