New York Probate & Estate Litigation Attorneys
Help When You Need It Most.
You're not in the right mindset after the loss of a loved one. But unfortunately, pressing legal matters must be addressed.
For example, in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island, family cannot distribute property or pay estate debts without going through probate (or administration, when there is no Will).
"Probate" is the process of validating a Will as authentic. During probate, heirs and beneficiaries receive notice of the proceeding. Then, they have a chance to examine the Will and object to its validity.
Executors and administrators usually hire us to “play defense." As a fiduciary of the estate, you have a duty to uphold the decedent's wishes (if there is a Will), invest assets wisely, keep good records, account to heirs, and pay taxes. Or else, you can be sued by heirs.
Whether or not there was a Will, you might also have a duty to find distant relatives or long-lost assets. In those cases, fiduciaries rely on us to conduct kinship hearings or turnover proceedings, and to tap into our considerable network and resources.
Sometimes, we are hired to "play offense." For example, if you did not receive what you expected from a loved one, and you suspect a Will was a forgery, or that the deceased signed the Will when he lacked mental capacity, or under trickery or pressure, you should consult counsel. Additionally, you should consult counsel if a Will was not prepared by an attorney. That's because “D.I.Y. Wills” might not comply with New York law.
Whether you are a Will beneficiary, a disinherited heir, a potential administrator, or an executor, it makes sense to have experienced counsel at your side.