After someone passes away, their family members may encounter various hurdles. In Jamaica, and all New York cities, families in this position may have unanswered questions or stress because of court. Sometimes, there is infighting between beneficiaries, which can make the loss even more painful. However, other issues may arise that families are not always aware of right away, such as whether or not a probate proceeding is necessary for a someone who had a small estate but did not leave behind a will.
According to the New York Courts, filing small estates is appropriate for decedents who left behind under $30,000 worth of personal property . Also known as voluntary administration, these proceedings are generally easier and less costly than probate. However, probate is advised for those who left behind a small estate, in certain circumstances.
While voluntary administration proceedings are generally ideal for those who had a small estate, a number of conditions may make probate preferable. For example, if it is possible that legal action will arise in the future, such as litigation over a wrongful death, those managing the estate may want to consider a probate proceeding instead.
For decedents who owned real property, such as land or a family home, voluntary administration is not an option. If the person left behind a will, those in charge of the estate should move forward with the probate process. However, if no will was left behind, administration proceedings are recommended. Whenever any matters such as a potential wrongful death are involved, people should carefully review their options.