Estate Litigation Timeline 

The death of a loved one can be a difficult and emotional time, especially when it comes to dealing with their estate. Estate litigation is the process of resolving disputes over a deceased person’s assets and is a common occurrence in New York City. If you are involved in an estate dispute, it is important to understand the timeline of the legal process.

  1. Starting the Litigation. The first step in estate litigation is the commencement of a lawsuit. This is typically done by filing a petition with the Surrogate’s Court. The petition must state the grounds for the dispute and the relief being sought. Once the petition is filed, the court will issue a citation to all interested parties. It is important to not delay filing the lawsuit, as to not miss any deadlines.
  2. Filing of Objections. Interested parties have a limited amount of time to file objections to the petition. The objections must state the grounds for the dispute and the relief being sought. The parties may also request a discovery conference to exchange information about the estate.
  3. Discovery and Depositions. Discovery is the process by which parties can obtain information from each other. This can include requests for documents, interrogatories (written questions), and depositions (oral testimony under oath). Depositions can be particularly important in estate litigation, as they allow parties to question witnesses and obtain evidence.
  4. Settlement. Settlement is a process in which a neutral third party attempts to help the parties reach a settlement. Settlement, also called Mediation, can be a cost-effective way to resolve estate disputes without going to trial. If the parties reach a settlement, they will sign a written agreement.
  5. Trial. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case will go to trial. At trial, each side will present evidence and argue their case to a judge. The judge or jury will then make a decision and issue an order.
  6. Appeals. If either party is unhappy with the judge’s decision, they can file an appeal. An appeal is a review of the trial court’s decision by a higher court. An appeal can take several months or even years, depending on the complexity of the case.
  7. Enforcement. If the court issues an order in favor of one party, the other party must comply with the order. If they do not, the winning party may need to take additional legal action to enforce the order.

The timelines for estate litigation in New York can be affected by a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, and the availability of the court. It is important to speak with an experienced estate litigation attorney to discuss the timelines for your case.

Here are some tips for managing the estate litigation timeline:

  • Start early. The sooner you start the estate litigation process, the sooner you will have a resolution.
  • Be prepared. The more prepared you are, the less time it will take to resolve your case.
  • Communicate with your attorney. Keep your attorney informed of any developments in your case and be prepared to answer their questions.
  • Be patient. Estate litigation can be a long and complex process, but it is important to be patient and let the process take its course.

In conclusion, estate litigation can be a complex and time-consuming process. Understanding the timeline of the legal process can help you prepare for what lies ahead. If you are involved in an estate dispute, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you.You can call us at 212-233-1233 or send us an email at [email protected].

Attorney Albert Goodwin

Law Offices of
Albert Goodwin, PLLC
31 W 34 Str, Suite 7058
New York, NY 10001
[email protected]