Is There a Time Limit to Probate a Will?

I speak with prospective clients who tell me that their loved one passed away many years ago, but for various reasons, they have not probated their will in Surrogate’s Court. They ask,

is there is a time limit to probate will (aka statute of limitations)?

The answer is that, in New York, there is no statute of limitations on probating a will. In fact, I have probated wills which belonged to a decedent who had passed more than 25 years prior.


However, it is generally advisable to do file and then probate a will as soon as possible. Among other reasons, the more time that passes, the more likely it is that necessary parties to the probate, such as witnesses, beneficiaries, executors, will not be available when needed, causing delay and additional cost. It is also important to remember that many courts will ask the petitioner to provide an affidavit explaining why probate has not occurred sooner and if any creditors or beneficiaries have been affected by the late filing.

These Questions are common questions asked by clients of Law Offices Of Roman Aminov. The published answers have been contributed by Roman Aminov, an estate planning & probate lawyer in Queens, NY serving the greater New York City & Long Island Area.

Law Offices Of Roman Aminov 147-17 Union Tpke, Flushing, NY 11367 (347) 766-2685

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