Ultimate guide to probate in New York
New York probate is not always easy, but this guide will break down the process and answer commonly asked questions about probate in New York.
What is probate in New York?
Probate in New York is the court-supervised legal proceeding that takes place after someone’s passing. Probate is used to validate any Will that exists and appoint an executor who will do everything necessary to settle an estate. By the end of the process, the executor will pay any debts and taxes owed by the estate and then distribute remaining assets to the rightful beneficiaries.
How much does probate cost in New York
Many probate fees are typical and common in any state. For example, in New York or anywhere else, you should expect to pay for things such as:
Professional fees – accountants, assessing, and appraisals
New York is one of the states that sets executor fees by statute. Fees can range from 2% - 5% of the estate’s total value.
Things like location, size, and complexity of the estate, and if someone contests any part of an estate plan can, all can affect the final cost of probate in New York.
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PROBATE PROCESS STEPS
How to start probate in New York
While the process may vary from state to state, there is a general procedure for beginning the probate process in New York. First and foremost, reach out to the court. Then, follow the basic steps below.
Become formally appointed as the executor or personal representative.
If a Will is found, submit it to the court.
Make an inventory list of all assets.
Determine the value of all assets.
Submit inventory and valuations to the courts (be sure that beneficiaries approve it).
Pay any outstanding debts and final expenses.
File and pay any taxes the estate owes.
Distribute all remaining assets to rightful heirs and beneficiaries.
The executor of an estate may be required to also:
Open a checking account in the estate’s name
File for an EIN for the estate
Read and understand the Will
Work with and regularly communicate with beneficiaries
Notify any of the decedent's creditors of his or her death
Learn all legal deadlines associated with the probate process in New York
Pay all final bills
File the estate’s final tax returns
Provide a death certificate
Keep detailed records and receipts of any payments or debts that are paid
Finally, close the estate
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Commonly asked questions about probate in New York
You’ll be more likely to need to go through probate if– the Will is poorly written; the estate assets are of high value or very complex; the beneficiary or heir is debated; the beneficiary is a minor; someone disputes how to divide assets; any real estate is involved.
The more common ones include– Certificate of Filing Will; Petition of Probate; Notice to Creditors; Bond or Waiver of Bond; List of Interested Persons; Filing Inventory & Appraisal; Ongoing/Annual Accounting; Notice to Beneficiaries; Filing for Close of Probate; and Release of Liability & Responsibility.
Within 6 months from the date of issuance of letters – Time allowed for the elective share election.
On or before return day of process – Time allowed for objections to probate a Will (There are some exceptions to this deadline which would allow for 10 days after completion of examinations).
7 months from the date of issuance of letters – Time allowed for presentation of claim.
9 months from the date of issuance of letters – Time allowed for filing of inventory.
1 - 3 years – Time allowed for an Executor to keep an estate open. Note, this can be longer if there’s any litigation involved.
Note: the most common mistake personal representatives make is failure to properly notify creditors.
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