Fratello Law

Do Wills Need to Go Through Probate in New York?

When a person passes away in New York, their assets must be managed and distributed according to instructions in their will. Unfortunately, this is not something should wait long after the initial grieving process and should be handled promptly. The process involves a Petition to the court to settle the deceased’s affairs in line with their wishes set forth in their will.  While probate is required in New York for assets passing through a will, it is possible to avoid the process through careful and early planning. 

At Fratello Law, our attorneys are committed to helping our clients protect their assets through individualized planning with trusts, wills, and other preparations. We pride ourselves on understanding our clients’ needs and circumstances to ensure each of their unique goals are met. When you partner with us, you can have peace of mind that your best interests are in experienced and capable hands. 

When is Probate Required in New York?

Probate is the legal process of settling a deceased person’s estate in an orderly and structured way. Even if the deceased individual had a detailed will, their loved ones are not typically permitted to divide their estate on their own. During this process, the court will validate the will and oversee the distribution of assets.

Whether or not an estate is required to go through probate depends heavily on the total value of the deceased individual’s estate assets. Probate may also be necessary when the deceased did not declare a beneficiary or update a beneficiary on an individual asset. Some assets that may require an estate to go through the probate process include the following:

  • Individual bank accounts
  • Individually owned homes
  • Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds
  • Retirement Assets
  • Jewelry
  • Art
  • Cash
  • Antiques

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine if you or your loved ones’ will is required to go through the probate process as well as your legal options moving forward. 

Avoiding Probate in New York

Probate can be a long, expensive, and confusing process. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take while you and your family members are living to avoid this arduous process. One effective way to avoid probate in New York is by setting up a living trust. This process involves setting up a trust document similar to a will that designates the successor trustee for any or all of your assets in the event of your death. Then, you must transfer the ownership of your assets to yourself as the trustee of the trust. Once this process is completed, your property will be managed under the terms of the trust, and ownership will transfer to your successor trustee after your death without the need for probate proceedings. 

The skilled attorneys at Fratello Law have extensive experience helping their clients manage their estates effectively with living trusts. There are different types of trusts with unique provisions to achieve individual goals. When you retain our services, we will go through each of your legal options and help you determine the best possible steps for protecting your assets. 

Discuss Your Will with a Skilled New York Estate Lawyer Today

At Fratello Law, our firm is passionate about building meaningful connections with our clients to help ensure each of their unique needs is addressed. We understand the ins and outs of New York estate law and will apply our extensive knowledge and skills to your case. We are a small firm with a big heart, and we understand how challenging and emotionally demanding estate planning and settling the estate of a loved one can be. When you work with us, we will take the stress off your shoulders so you can focus entirely on your family. 

To schedule a no cost consultation with a member of our compassionate legal team, call our Suffolk County office at (631) 406-5580 or our Nassau County office at (516) 321-4010. You can also reach out day or night through our online contact form. We look forward to welcoming you into our client family.