Removing 805 Bond Restrictions in Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court

As an Estate Lawyer, I often get phone calls from clients who have successfully obtained letters of administration for the estate of a loved one, but can’t sell the real property or even transfer it to themselves. The reason is that when a decedent dies owning real estate, the Kings County Surrogate’s Court in Brooklyn […]

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Seven Questions to Ask an Estate and Probate Attorney

Nobody wants to call a probate lawyer. People only call us when they are dealing with the loss of a family member and need help through the process. Over the years, I have been privileged to speak with hundreds of clients and helped address their questions about the probate process in general and my services […]

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What Are My Rights as a Surviving Spouse?

I received a frantic call earlier this year from a woman with two young children whose husband passed away a few months prior without leaving a will. Although she had been appointed administrator of his estate, she quickly realized that all of her husband’s assets had been left to his brother through a beneficiary designation […]

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Opening a Safe Deposit Box After Death in NY

I often receive phone calls from clients who had recently lost a loved one and, among other things, are confused about how to access the decedent’s safe deposit box. A common concern is that the loved one kept their last will in the box, which needs to be probated. In fact, before the Surrogate’s Court […]

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Frequently Asked Probate Questions

As a probate lawyer, I am often asked many important questions about the probate process. I have decided to make a list of some of the most frequent questions in an effort to help people understand the process better. What is Probate? Probate is the process of presenting a last will and testament to the […]

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Consenting to the Probate of a Will

Have you lost a family member and received a document called a “Waiver of Process; Consent to Probate”? If you are like most people, you may be confused about what this means, and more importantly, if you should sign it. This article will help explain the purpose of the document, and what you should discuss […]

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How To Avoid Probate

There is hardly a week that goes by that I don’t receive a call from a potential client asking me to help them “avoid probate”. Unfortunately, most of the time, the client only has a vague understanding of the probate process, and no compelling reason to try to avoid it (more about the probate process […]

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Intestacy Laws: Dying Without a Will in NY

A person who dies without a will in New York is said to have died intestate. If a person owned assets, they either pass automatically, such a joint accounts and accounts with beneficiary designations, or through a court process known as estate administration which is governed by New York's laws of intestacy, which are codified […]

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Disinheriting a Spouse and the NY Spousal Right of Election

What would you do if you found out that your spouse completely disinherited you? Perhaps you are thinking about disinheriting your spouse in your estate plan. Is your spouse entitled to a portion of your inheritance? It is imperative to know your rights as well as your obligations under New York’s spousal right of election […]

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What Happens to Your Assets When You Die?

A question I hear often from clients is: “What will happen to my assets when I die?” This sobering question is important not just for the person asking it, but also for the loved ones that they leave behind. The person making the inquiry wants to make sure that his family will be able to […]

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