Estate and Trust Settlement Attorneys
When someone dies, their estate will go through an estate settlement process in order to transfer their assets to loved ones. Generally, the estate settlement process requires an appointed individual to: (1) identify and gather the decedent’s assets; (2) pay the decedent’s debts; and (3) distribute the estate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. The estate settlement process may require a court-supervised proceeding, called a probate proceeding, depending on the particular circumstances of the decedent’s estate.
Our firm has experienced attorneys and estate paralegals who handle Trust administrations and estate settlement matters routinely and efficiently. We complete estate and Trust settlement work without delay while providing excellent communication and direction to our clients. We pride ourselves on uncomplicating the settlement process for our clients in times of mourning following the death of a loved one.
Uncomplicating the process of settling your loved one’s estate.
The estate settlement process varies depending on the circumstances of the estate. A court-supervised probate proceeding may be necessary depending on how your assets are titled when you die and your goals for the distribution of your assets. In New York, estate proceedings can be costly and time-consuming, but they can also be very necessary to accomplish the goals of the decedent. We have decades of experience helping clients navigate through the probate process and, most importantly, complete the estate settlement process in an efficient and timely manner.
Estate proceedings have various moving parts, hard deadlines and other legal requirements. In New York, the main types of estate proceedings include: (1) probate (for decedents dying with a Will and probate assets); (2) administration (for decedents dying without a Will); (3) temporary administration (for decedent’s who are missing at death); (4) ancillary probate or administration (for NYS residents with out-of-state property and non-NYS residents that die owning real property in NYS); and (5) voluntary small estate administration (simplified proceeding for estates valued at less than $50,000 without any real property).
If you die with a Will and your estate contains probate assets (i.e., assets titled in your name alone), your estate must be admitted to probate with Surrogate’s Court. Probate proceedings are court-supervised and, as such, can be costly and time-consuming. Typically, a probate takes between nine (9) to twelve (12) months before final distributions of estate assets can be made to the beneficiaries. Given the time and expense involved, we work with our clients to structure each client’s estate plan to minimize their probatable estate or even eliminate the need for a probate proceeding altogether, if it accomplishes the client's goals.
Guiding you through completion of your responsibilities as a trustee.
We have experience handling Trust administration, including drafting new Trust instruments, assisting with funding of trusts and guiding trustees through their responsibilities as fiduciaries with detailed directions regarding their duties as a trustee.
Our experience in Trust administration is extensive and we have valuable insight into the process along the way. We can assist you in the preparation of court pleadings, filing of annual fiduciary income tax returns, preparation of intermediate and final trustee Accountings and the final settlement and distribution of assets held in the Trust.