An Overview of the Probate Process For New York Residents


Probate Attorneys in Brooklyn

Probate refers to the procedure through which a deceased person’s will is validated and distributed to the beneficiaries. This is done through legal representation and a formal court hearing, during which the terms of the will are read aloud, and the relevant bequests are distributed.

If a decedent leaves behind a property in New York that hasn’t been lawfully left to a specific person or entity, the estate must go through the probate process.

In the absence of a valid will, the probate court will divvy up the estate following the rules of the state. If, however, the deceased person leaves behind an uncontested will, the probate court will have little to do with the distribution of the estate.

Which Assets Require Probate and Which Do Not?

Our probate lawyers in Queens describe probate as a legal process that can be used to distribute assets such as cash, property, and personal possessions like jewelry and art. However, the following assets are not subject to probate:

  • Beneficiary designation on a bank account
  • Beneficiary designations in life insurance plans
  • Retirement funds or accounts
  • Trust-held assets
  • Sharing property in a partnership or joint properties.
  • Joint savings

In other cases, probate may also be unnecessary because:

  • The estate is not very valuable
  • Assets in the estate that don’t require probate are all that remain
  • If the deceased had a prearranged estate plan

A Brief Overview of the Probate Process

As our Brooklyn Probate lawyer states, here is how the process works:

  1. The executor initially submits the probate petition. This may be done with the original will and a copy of the death certificate. Both of these must be submitted to the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the decedent last resided. The size of one’s estate will determine the actual filing fee.
  2. The next step requires an itemized list of all the assets. The executor is responsible for gathering the decedent’s tangible and intangible assets and getting an accurate value for them as of the date of death.
  3. The executor will pay any outstanding obligations, liabilities, or taxes out of the estate money. If there is not enough money in the estate, they may have to liquidate some of the assets.
  4. Informing the legal heirs is the next step. Then, the Surrogate’s Court will also get a formal notification, known as a citation. After that, the estate is divvied up following the Estates Powers and Trust Law (EPTL)and the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA).


Person signing document drafted by a probate attorney in Brooklyn

Our Brooklyn Probate Lawyers Can Help You

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. is the firm to contact if you need to discuss your probate concerns with a knowledgeable probate attorney in NYC.

Whether you require Estate lawyer Brooklyn, an Estate lawyer in Queens, or a Real Property Law firm Manhattan, you can reach out to us right away..



The following two tabs change content below.
An Overview of the Probate Process For New York Residents

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.
An Overview of the Probate Process For New York Residents

Latest posts by Ledwidge & Associates (see all)