Probate and Estate Administration

Probate is a court proceeding to distribute the property of the testator (deceased person who left a will). The Probate Court oversees the distribution of the estate, which includes the testator's property that did not pass through trusts, joint ownership or operation of law. There are multiple laws and rules that must be followed during probate, so the probate process is complicated and may take a long time to complete. Attorney Leonid Mikityanskiy provides estate-planning services to avoid or simplify the probate process.

For those who must go through the probate process after the death of a loved one who left a will, Leonid Mikityanskiy can provide probate and estate administration services and guide you through the probate process. The first thing necessary to start the probate process is finding the will if it has not already been found and authenticated.

Having a valid will, a petition to probate the will and other documents must be prepared and filed in Probate Court. Proper notice must be given to the heirs under the will. After that, the Executor named in the will must inventory the estate assets; sell the assets as necessary; pay off the estate debts to creditors; pay federal and state taxes, including estate and inheritance taxes and the testator's last income taxes; and, finally, distribute the remaining assets to the heirs.

This is a very condensed description, but the probate process is actually even more complicated, depending on the value and location of the property in the estate. The probate is also a fairly long process. It usually takes at least 6-9 months before the assets can be distributed to heirs, and sometimes it takes 12 months or more. Any estate litigation, will contest, or dispute with creditors can considerably increase that time period.

What if a person died intestate (without a will)? If your loved one died without a will, New York State law governs who inherits what part of the estate. As a relative, you may be appointed the Administrator of the estate. Estate administration is a slightly different proceeding than the Probate.

To contact a Russian speaking attorney Leonid Mikityanskiy about a will, probate or estate administration, please call 718-256-3210.