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Is Probate Required When Someone Dies in New York?

hen a loved one dies, one of the things the family must deal with is determining whether or not they need to file a probate proceeding with the New York Surrogate’s Court. An experienced New York probate and estate attorney can help the family or the executor named in the decedent’s will make that determination and assist with administering the estate. Under New York probate laws, a probate is required to be filed with the Court only when the decedent held assets in the decedent’s sole name at the time of the decedent’s death. The assets must pass within the estate to the beneficiaries through probate.

Examples of probate assets:

The following are examples of a New York decedent’s assets that may be subject to probate:

•    Real estate, including the decedent’s primary residence, vacation property, timeshare, investment property such as apartment buildings or office buildings
•    Bank accounts or other financial accounts
•    Jewelry or collectible items
•    Furniture and clothing
•    Insurance proceeds from awrongful death or medical malpractice matter
•    Business assets

Assets that are held jointly such as joint bank accounts, real estate, have a named beneficiary such as a life insurance policy or assets held in the name of a trust pass outside of the estate and are not subject to probate.

If you are not sure whether your loved one’s assets are subject to a New York probate proceeding or you need assistance with the management of the estate assets, it is recommended that you speak with a New York probate and estate attorney. The attorney can explain the New York probate laws and help guide you through the probate process to facilitate the distribution of the estate assets to the rightful heirs so that the estate can be wound up and closed without delays due to mistakes or misunderstandings of the probate laws.

A New York probate and estate attorney also represents heirs, beneficiaries or other parties who may have a claim against an estate or wish to contest a decedent’s will or estates fighting will contest or other litigation matters.

If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at 718-509-9774.