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What Is the Probate Process? March 13, 2018

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
What Is the Probate Process?, Brooklyn, New York

Probate is the legal process of giving effect to a deceased person’s will and closing out their estate, which is all the assets a person owns when they pass away. Estate attorneys or probate lawyers often represent the individuals who initiate the process. Here are the basic steps to take after losing a loved one.

Estate Attorney Explains Probate

Filing a Petition for Probate

To start the process, a family member or other interested person files a petition and the will with the surrogate’s court in the county where the deceased passed away. The petitioner sends notice to the heirs, offers the will for probate, and asks that they are appointed as executor of the will.

estate-attorney-Brooklyn-NYThe court sets a hearing date, and all heirs are notified. Anyone opposing the estate plan files an objection, which starts a will contest. If there are no objections, the will is admitted to probate.

Taking Inventory & Paying Debts

The executor creates an inventory of all property that belonged to the deceased, reports it to the court, and publishes notices in the newspaper to give creditors a chance to file claims. All taxes, funeral expenses, and debts are paid out of the estate assets.

Distributing Estate Proceeds

The executor transfers legal title of the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the will. Estate attorneys or probate lawyers ensure the title transfers are executed properly. If there is no will, a court-appointed administrator distributes the property according to the state’s succession laws. 


At Beress & Zalkind PLLC in New York, experienced Russian-speaking estate attorneys guide clients through the probate process. When you meet with one of these dedicated probate lawyers in their Brooklyn office, you will receive sound advice and professional representation coupled with compassion. Visit their website now to learn more about their practice areas. Call (212) 390-0325 to schedule your consultation with an estate attorney or probate lawyer today. 

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