Although the administration or probate of an estate is often thought to be a straightforward, simple process, there are numerous steps that the Surrogate’s Court requires be completed correctly and accurately. In addition, there are many issues and challenges that can arise during the probate and administration process. At the law offices of Sweeney, Reich & Bolz LLP, the clients are provided with a team of highly experienced attorneys and paralegals to guide the client through the entire process. You can rely on our attorneys to protect your interest and safeguard your rights throughout the process.

With over two decades of experience representing clients in Surrogate’s Court, our law firm is adept in guiding clients through the probate or administration process. Below is a sample of the procedure and court requirements that may arise when administering or probating an estate:

  • Filing of the Petition for Probate of a Will or Administration of an intestate estate in the Surrogate’s Court. A death certificate must be obtained and included with the Petition.
  • Filing of the Petition for Appointment of an executor or administrator, also referred to as the personal representative of the estate.
  • Appearing on behalf of the executor or administrator, also referred to as the personal representative of the estate.
  • Obtaining Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration that grant the executor or administrator the authority to communicate with financial institutions as well as formally notify beneficiaries and other persons with an interest in the estate.
  • Collecting and inventorying all assets and debts of the estate. In cases involving assets of intangible value, including art, antiques and other collectibles, the executor or administrator arranges for appraisals.
  • Opening of an estate bank account by the executor or administrator to pay the costs of administering the estate and to deposit estate taxes.
  • Paying the valid bills and taxes of the estate and determining which claims should be rejected.
  • Selling real estate and other property to raise cash and protect estate assets and the interests of the beneficiaries and other interested parties.
  • Preparing the final settlement statement or accounting of the estate that details the financial transactions and distributions made by the executor or administrator.

The process outlined describes the basic steps in administering an estate and is not all inclusive. The attorneys at Sweeney, Reich & Bolz LLP are prepared to handle any additional issues that arise and have experience administering estates of all sizes and complexities. We understand that there are circumstances where a deceased loved one did not prepare a will or failed to name a personal representative.

Our attorneys will help you navigate the requirements of the laws of New York and the Surrogate’s Court rules. If there is little or no personal information about a person who died intestate (without a will), our attorneys, paralegals and investigators will review the documents and determine the client’s best course of action. It is important to consult an experienced attorney in all circumstances related to probate or administration of an estate so that a thorough investigation may be conducted to determine the most effective legal strategy.

Our firm’s staff includes paralegals with experience in handling simple and complex estates. With this valuable experience and a team of attorneys and staff focused on different areas of the law, Sweeney, Reich & Bolz LLP has the resources to handle both routine and complex estates that other firms decline. Contact our law firm at 718-459-9000 to schedule a consultation to learn more about our legal practice.