People don’t always leave their affairs in perfect order when they pass away. Sometimes there is a will, but there are problems with it. Other times, there is no will at all. If significant assets are involved and you are a potential heir, you will need help navigating the challenges presented by the probate and estate administration processes in New York. Our estate planning attorneys have many years of experience in probate and estate administration and can help you protect your inheritance and honor your loved one’s wishes.

When Does an Estate Have to Go Through Probate?

If your loved one named beneficiaries and outlined his her or wishes in a will, and died with assets in his or her name alone, the estate will have to go through probate, which is the process by which the court validates a will. A petitioner, usually the executor of the will, must prove that the will is valid by providing affidavits from the witnesses to the will and notifying heirs that the will is being probated. This can be a long and difficult process, especially for an executor with no experience in the law. Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, P.C., helps executors and heirs by completing the following necessary tasks:

  • Probate of the will
  • Notice to heirs
  • Collection of assets after probate
  • Facilitate the preparation of income tax returns for the decedent
  • Assistance with the payment of creditors’ claims
  • Preparation of federal and state estate tax returns
  • Judicial and informal accountings of the will
  • Distribution of estate assets

In other words, we assist with every step of the process when a loved one leaves behind a will. This is a difficult time for family members who have lost a loved one. With our legal assistance, some of the burdens are lifted, and the heirs of an estate are freed up to cope with their loss and take care of more pressing tasks. If you are a named executor of a will or are expecting to inherit when a family member dies, contact our Brooklyn law office to see if we can help you through the process, noting that we represent executors, administrators, heirs and beneficiaries in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and Long Island.

What If Someone Dies Without a Will?

If a family member dies without leaving a will and there are significant assets or property that you believe you have a claim to, you would be wise to hire an estate administration attorney to protect your interests. If there is no will, property will be distributed by the state of New York according to its inheritance laws. However, certain family members have the right to bring an administration hearing to claim the assets before the state steps in. The estate administration attorneys at Landskind & Ricaforte, P.C., represent family members who have a direct claim to inherit assets as well as those who must prove kinship to inherit.

If a person dies without a will and has no living family members closer than a first cousin, relatives who believe they have a claim will have to prove so in a kinship hearing. This is a lengthy process requiring multiple hearings, but with experienced attorneys on your team, you will be spared much of the difficulty. Our legal team has handled many kinship hearings and will work hard to make this an efficient process with the best possible outcome for you.

We Believe in a Client-Centered Approach

Many of our probate and estate administration clients are devastated by the loss of their loved one and further traumatized by having to fight for the property or assets they believe their loved one would have wanted them to have. Whether it is a case of there being no will at all, a contested will, or a straightforward will that must be probated, our attorneys will take the time to get to know you personally so that we can understand your wishes and help you fight for what you believe you are entitled to. We are a small, client-centered firm committed to helping individuals at a difficult time of their lives. Call our Brooklyn law firm today to find out if we might be able to help you, noting that we represent executors, administrators, heirs, and beneficiaries in all counties of New York City and Long Island.