The person in charge of the probate process in New York depends on whether or not there is a will. If there is a will, the person named as executor in the will is in charge of the estate and the probate process. If there is not a will, the court will choose someone called an administrator to handle the estate. Usually, the court will choose a living relative to serve as administrator.
Serving as a personal representative of an estate can be a big job, but executors are compensated for their services. The amount of compensation depends on the size of the estate. The person named as executor in a will may choose not to serve. In that case, the probate court will either name the alternate individual selected in the will, or will choose another individual or a professional to serve.
The probate process begins when the executor or another individual presents the original will and a petition to begin probate to the Surrogate’s Court. The court then examines the will to ensure it is valid, and gives the executor the right to begin administering the estate. The executor can then begin making an inventory of the deceased’s assets, pay creditors, and distribute the assets according to the instructions in the will.
Probate in New York can be fairly straightforward, or it can be very complex, depending on the situation. Although there is not a law in New York requiring that an attorney be hired to assist with probate, in most cases it’s wise to hire an attorney to make sure that probate is handled correctly. Call the New York Probate Law Firm of Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444. We have thirteen offices in New York at which to serve you. Call us today to learn more about probate in New York.