You can see why the probate process can be lengthy, even when there is no litigation challenging the terms. So, even in the absence of litigation about the probate of the will, there can be disputes how the executor performs her or his duties.
Probate also induces sizable court filing fees. The courts are understaffed and – as evidenced by Covid 19 – can be closed down as happened in New York. Heirs may be difficult to locate and finding them may cause delays. The post office mail lose mail. So can court clerks. And an estate file is officially a public record, which means anyone including family members, curious citizens or the news media can see records detailing assets.
Experienced trust and estate planning lawyers will most likely tell you the way to sidestep these troubles is to avoid probate. That is accomplished by having a trust, most likely a revocable trust. That holds title to your individually-owned assets for your lifetime. You can also have a revocable trust to hold the assets of you and your spouse. The trust ends when you (or both you and your wife) die and the remaining trust assets are distributed to your chosen beneficiaries. No court interventions; no delays; minimal cost. And even a disgruntled heir will think twice before making trouble via litigation. You have the power (and the money in the trust to pay for any litigation without having to use personal funds to beat back a probate contest in Surrogate’s Court).
Another important point: as we say at Pierro, Connor & Strauss, “life happens,” and in many cases there is disability or incapacity. The trust is the most effective vehicle to manage your finances and care for you in such event. Together with a health care proxy and health care declaration your needs will be met and your personal wishes followed without intervention of courts or strangers.
The attorneys at Pierro, Connor & Strauss, L.L.C. have seen it all and have the experience and skills to advise you on the most appropriate way to distribute your estate to your family members upon your death, but perhaps even more importantly, to assist you to enjoy your independence and quality of life in good times and bad.
Who does Pierro, Conor & Strauss represent in probate matters?
As you can see, even the smoothest uncontested estate administration process can be a time-consuming and a somewhat bumpy legal process. That’s why retaining an experienced trusts and estates/estate planning attorney is so important.
Probate attorneys may represent parties on either side of a will or estate administration. Pierro, Connor & Strauss often represents the beneficiaries or potential heirs with legitimate concerns about how their loved ones’ wills were created or how the executors have handled the administration. Other times, our probate litigators provide legal guidance and defend against challenges to the executor under New York Law.
Speak with a probate litigation attorney
For those in New York who are facing a difficulty in their Surrogate’s Court matter or dread the prospect of a drawn-out court battle, Pierro, Connor & Strauss is available to help. Our experienced team represents individuals, families, corporations, and others. We take the time to carefully understand our clients’ objectives, craft strategies to avoid litigation, but can handle litigation when needed. If litigation does become necessary, we will honor our promise to maintain consistent and clear communication, help you understand the risks, and work with you to achieve the best possible result. .
Take time to talk to a Pierro, Connor & Strauss lawyer today at either our Albany, New York City, Long Island, Lake Placid, Hudson, New Jersey, Florida locations to schedule a no-obligation, confidential consultation.