When a Long Island resident passes away and owns property in their name, those assets are subject to probate. If the decedent has a will, the original will must be filed and admitted to probate with either the Nassau County or Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court depending on which Court is determined to be the proper jurisdiction. The executor of the decedent’s estate, along with the assistance of a Long Island probate and estate attorney, will file the will and establish the probate. All the beneficiaries are provided with a notice of the probate.
Status of the Will
In order to find out the status of the will or the probate matter, one can check with the Clerk of the Surrogate’s Court, or hire a Long Island probate attorney or a local attorney service to obtain look into the file in the court and interpret the information. One can try to find out the status of a Long Island probate matter by contacting the personal representative or attorney representing the estate, but their information is not always reliable as they sometimes act in their self-interest.
Assets that the decedent owned jointly or which were transferred to a trust at the time of the decedent’s death are not subject to probate. Those assets pass to the beneficiaries automatically outside of any probate. Examples include real estate, bank accounts, stock and other financial accounts, title to motor vehicles or other vessels, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
If no probate is required, any interested party who wishes to make a claim against the estate would need to contact the personal representative for the estate or the attorney representing the estate and/or file a litigation suit with the Surrogate’s Court.
Intestate (dying without a will)
When the decedent dies without a will, an intestate proceeding will need to be established with the Surrogate’s Court. The family will usually hire a Long Island probate and estate attorney to help them with the intestate proceeding. It is important to note that when someone dies intestate, without a will, in New York, their assets are distributed under the New York Intestate Laws. This means that certain persons such as the surviving spouse and the children have priority claims over other heirs and beneficiaries. Intestate matters are also of public record and copies of files can be obtained in the same manner as probate files.
Long Island Probate and Estate Attorney
If you are an heir, beneficiary or interested party to a Long island decedent’s estate, it is recommended that you consult with a Long Island probate and estate attorney to assist you with the status of a Long Island decedent’s will, probate or intestate matter. A Long Island probate and estate attorney represents estate, beneficiaries, heirs, creditors and other interested parties in connection with estate matters.
If you wish to speak to a Long Island estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647