Fratello Law

Experienced Estate Probate and Administration Attorneys in Smithtown

Get Professional Guidance from Our Long Island Estate Probate Attorneys

Losing a loved one is a difficult time in and of itself, add the process of managing their estate and distributing their assets, and it can be incredibly stressful. If you recently lost a family member or other loved one, you may need assistance navigating the next steps.  We are here to help.

What is Will Probate?

When a loved one passes with a last will and testament, the process of distributing estate assets in line with that will is called probate.  If your loved one passes without a last will and testament, the process of distributing estate assets is called administration.  Depending on the size of the estate, both processes likely involve a petition to one of New York’s Surrogate’s Courts with the assistance of an experienced estate administration attorney.  The attorneys at Fratello Law are here to guide you and your family through the legal process. Our experienced estate administration lawyers are dedicated to supporting each of our clients through the entirety of the legal process, using our legal knowledge and years of experience in the Surrogate’s Court to effectively navigate issues that arise while handling estates. We are here to minimize the stress of the legal process while you focus on managing your loss. 

What Assets May need to go through Probate or Administration?

Depending on the estate planning preparations made by your loved one, a determination will need to be made as to whether assets will pass directly to beneficiaries or through the estate.  Many assets, including the following, may need to go through the probate or administration process:

  • Individual bank accounts without a direct beneficiary
  • Real Property
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds 
  • Retirement assets 
  • Other Personal Property

If you have any confusion as to how to handle the estate of a loved one or whether a probate or administration proceeding needs to be initiated, we recommend speaking with an estate administration attorney in your area. Our highly-qualified Smithtown estate administration lawyers are compassionate, knowledgeable and experienced. We are here to assist clients through life changes and in navigating the legal process after the loss of a family member or loved one.

At Fratello Law, our team is supportive, understanding and empathetic with each client. This means that each client is treated with compassion and is part of our client family. Partnering with us means receiving tailored and personalized attention to individual needs.

We dedicate ourselves to handling the complicated processes we know best, so our clients are able to focus on the parts of their lives they care about most.

Get Personalized Support With Fratello Law’s Estate Probate and Administration Attorneys Serving the Smithtown Area

At Fratello Law, we are a small firm with a big heart. We pride ourselves in supporting our clients through each step of the legal estate probate or administration process, treating each one like a family member. Fratello law is an all-women firm focused on creating high-quality relationships, so our clients trust us with their complex and personal needs.

We offer no-cost initial consultations, so please contact us to discuss your matter and get more information. You can call us at (631) 406-5580 or complete our contact form to learn more about the process and talk to one of our talented team members. We look forward to welcoming you to our client family.

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Estate Services We Offer

Estate Administration

When a loved one dies, all of their real estate, money, stocks, personal belongings, and other belongings become a part of their estate. Estate administration is the process of collecting and managing the estate assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the appropriate heirs. Our estate administration attorneys will help you handle this process efficiently and professionally in your time of need.

Will Probate

Probate is the process of authenticating your loved one’s Last Will and Testament and proving that it is valid. In New York, this process is supervised by the Surrogate Court located in the county where the person passed. It is only after probate that the executor appointed in the will to act and receive Letters Testamentary, a document issued by the court. Fratello Law has years of experience handling probate proceedings for our clients.

Dying Without a Will

When someone passes without leaving a will, the surrogate’s court must appoint an authorized person to manage the assets and distribute the assets of the estate. This person is called an Administrator and the court will issue Letters of Administration to them. New York State law determines who in your family has priority to be appointed as the Administrator of the estate.

Estate Accounting

Estate accountings must be done to provide a final record of the estate to the benefactors before distributing the remaining estate assets. Estate accountings are done in three phases: taking an inventory of all  assets, keeping a detailed record of all inventory as it is collected, and submitting a final accounting of the estate to the court. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of clients through this process and will carefully and efficiently guide you through the estate accounting.

Trust Estate Administration

Trust estate administration is the process the trustees must go through to manage the property in the trust according to the trust document’s terms. This is done properly for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. Trust estate administration involves many steps to do it effectively. Fratello Law can help you complete this arduous process quickly, giving you peace of mind that your loved one’s trust is cared for and trust that you are protected as a trustee.

Trust Accounting

A trust is a legal document that designates a trustee to manage assets that are in the trust. In your case, you may be the trustee, and your loved one may be the grantor. With a trust, much like any with any financial account, a certain level of accounting needs to be done. As a trustee you may be required to show how the trust’s assets are being managed, what disbursements are being made, and whether any income has been earned on trust property. This information is all provided through our trust accounting services.