Probate & Settlement of the Estate
If someone dies with or without a Will and owns property in his own name with no designated beneficiary, the person named in the Will as the personal representative or executor, or the administrator (if there is no Will) must file with the Surrogate’s Court in NY to transfer the property to the proper person.
When there is a Will, there are time limits to file the Will, proper notice must be given to heirs, tax returns must be filed, and bills paid including the decedent’s final expenses and the costs of administration of the estate.
We can cut a path through through this quagmire when survivors are dealing with grief and need access to assets. Sometimes an estate tax return needs to be filed. This is a 35 page document requiring careful description of assets, valuation of assets and preparation of various schedules.
Our many years of experience can be brought to bear in resolving these matters, including assets in other states or countries and the location of family members who must receive notice or an inheritance.
Whether there is a Will or not, the surviving spouse and any minor children are entitled by law to a certain amount of property and funds. We apply for the benefits to ensure the spouse and children receive the most benefits. The amounts differ when there is a blended family. Another instance of planning beating fixing!
When I was 15, my father died of a heart attack. We lived in Brooklyn. My father had always taken care of the family finances, handing my mother cash each week to run the household.