New York Probate Assistance

Probate is the legal process that happens after a person dies and leaves a Will.  In New York probate is required if the assets from the will are greater than $30,000.  If they are less than that amount, the Will does not go into probate, the assets will be distributed to heirs without the probate process.  However, if the Will does go into probate, it will go to court where it must be determined that the Will is valid.

What Makes a Will Valid?

In New York, a Will must be signed in front of at least two witnesses to be legal and valid.  Of those two witnesses, each must sign the will also in front of the person the Will is for, and in front of the other witness.  The other important part of the Will signing is that the person who has made the will doing so according to their own free will and under no undue influence or force of coercion.

After a death, probate begins when the Will is filed in the county in which the person died.  Once jurisdiction of the Will has been determined, the court will issue a decree granting probate, then Letters Testamentary to the Executor or Executors as they have been named in the Will which allows the process to move forward.  This process allows anyone who thinks the Will is not valid to file objections to the probate process.

Legal Help

Although there is no requirement to receive legal assistance in the probate process, the problems that can occur often make hiring an experienced attorney worthwhile.  Some of the more common probate issues include problems in locating different parties that are named in the Will, or to protect you if someone contests the Will for some reason, legal representation can be important.

An executor or another party in handling the Will may be responsible for improper losses to the estate or the trust. If this happens, an attorney can be useful in requiring the executor, estate administrator, or trustee to repay the estate.  An attorney such as Joseph A Ledwidge, P.C., experienced in New York Probate law can be helpful with this process.

Another excellent use of a probate attorney is if someone who had been granted Powers of Attorney take advantage of that situation either while the person was alive, or while their Will was still in probate.  Should a person with Powers of Attorney be involved in taking money or assets from an estate, an experienced attorney can help sort the situation.

An experience New York probate attorney, such as Joseph A. Ledwidge, P.C. and also assist you if your rights, as an inheritor to an estate have your rights violated.  Legal action may be required to ensure your rights and inheritance are protected.

If you need to make a Will, or if you are set to inherit from an estate, please contact an experienced New York probate attorney to help you through the process and protect your rights and assets.