Small estates qualify for simplified probate.New York law allows estates below a certain asset threshold to go through a simplified form of probate. This way, people who have fewer resources will have access to a loved one’s assets more quickly than waiting up to six months for their inheritances. If your family member’s estate qualifies, the simplified probate process can save you and other heirs a lot of time and money.

Starting the Simple Probate Process in New York

An executor can file for New York’s simplified small estate process if the decedent’s property has a value of $30,000 or less, not including real estate. Simplified probate is available even if the decedent died without a will. 

If you are serving as the executor to the estate, you must make a written request (along with a copy of the death certificate) to the probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The clerk of the court notifies each person named in the will that the simplified probate request has been filed.

As the executor, your next steps include:

  • Giving a copy of the filed request to anyone in possession of the decedent's property
  • Collecting all of the decedent’s property
  • Opening a bank account used only for estate funds
  • Paying administration costs, funeral expenses, and the decedent's debts using the estate’s bank account
  • Selling any of the decedent’s property necessary to settle estate debts
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will, or to their next of kin under New York laws if the decedent died intestate
  • Filing an itemized list of all the assets you have collected and a statement detailing the distributions made to heirs with the probate court

Even if the court allows simplified probate, problems may arise when it comes time to transfer property to its new owners. If you have questions, the experienced New York estate administration attorneys at Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group can help you through the probate process. Contact us today through our online form to learn how we can help.