Probate

If your loved one has recently passed away, you want to focus on what's most important: your family and your memories. Legal issues may feel like an unwanted distraction. I will do my best to make the probate process as simple, easy and efficient as possible.

In New York, probate marks the beginning of the estate administration process. It involves three main components:

1. The Court reviews and approves the Will.

2. The Court determines if there are any objections to the Will.

3. The Court authorizes the executor of the estate to carry out the Will's instructions.

If you are named in a Will as the Executor, you have a multitude of responsibilities which include:

1. Gathering information about the assets and debts of the estate.

2. Notifying the beneficiaries that they are named in the Will.

3. Paying the decedent's debts, including taxes.

4. Filing the decedent's final personal income tax return, fiduciary income tax return  

    and estate tax returns, if required.

5. Account to the beneficiaries by itemizing the total assets collected and total 

    expenses paid.

6. Calculate the amount paid to each beneficiary according to the Will.

7. Obtain a receipt of payment made from each beneficiary.

8. Obtain a release of further responsibility and liability from each beneficiary.

If there is no Will, the estate representative is called an Administrator instead of an Executor and his or her duties are primarily the same as those of the Executor. In either case, you want to feel totally confident that you have handled your responsibilities correctly, especially since Executors and Administrators are personally liable for their actions.

I am also very much aware of the potentially difficult situations that sometimes arise such as a family member who objects to the validity of the Will or may question the competency of the decedent at the time the Will was created. These disputes not only draw out the probate process, but also cause families with already existing strained relationships to completely fall apart. Through my years of experience and negotiation skills, I will help to diffuse these sensitive situations and obtain a resolution so everyone can move forward and move on.

You may schedule your initial free consultation by calling 718-377-8880 or by sending an e-mail to bill@billreinhardtlaw.com.