Dealing with probate administration can be challenging, especially during the emotional time following the loss of a loved one. The process involves complex legal procedures, unfamiliar rules, and, occasionally, heated disputes among family members. It’s enough to overwhelm anyone, but you don’t have to handle it alone.

At Amoruso & Amoruso LLP, we’re here to support you. With nearly six decades of combined experience in New York estate law, attorneys Michael Amoruso and Sreelekha Chakrabarty Amoruso are well-equipped to assist you throughout the probate administration process. You can rely on our knowledge and experience to handle all the legal details and honor your loved one’s legacy.

Probate administration is one of the many elements we consider in our signature comprehensive estate planning practice. This innovative, all-inclusive strategy comprises elder law, tax law, asset protection, long-term care, and other matters. With this customized, proactive approach, you can be assured your end-of-life wishes will be carried out the way you want them, all the while reducing your loved ones’ stress and worry.

If you’re seeking reliable legal assistance for probate administration in New York, reach out to an Amoruso & Amoruso LLP attorney today.

What Is Part of the Probate Estate?

The probate estate includes all the assets a deceased person owned at the time of their death that does not have a joint owner with rights of survivorship or designated beneficiaries. These assets are under the jurisdiction of the probate court until they get distributed among beneficiaries:

  • Real Property – Land and any structures on it, like houses, condos, and commercial buildings
  • Personal Property – Assets like jewelry, vehicles, furniture, artwork, and collectibles
  • Financial Assets – Assets like bank accounts, stocks, and investments in the deceased’s name
  • Business Interests – Shares in a business or partnership or any other type of business interest
  • Other Miscellaneous Assets – Royalties, patents, copyrights, or other forms of intangible assets

Do All Estates Require Probate?

No. Not all estates in New York require probate. The need for probate hinges on the nature of the deceased’s assets and how they were held:

  • Solely-Owned Assets – Assets solely in the deceased’s name, like real estate or bank accounts without beneficiaries or joint owners with rights of survivorship, require probate.
  • Small Estates – New York allows “voluntary administration” for smaller estates. Under state law, personal property valued at $50,000 or less (excluding real estate and certain cases with surviving spouses or minor children) can avoid formal probate and use a simpler process.
  • Non-Probate Assets – Some assets bypass probate. This includes jointly owned property with rights of survivorship, assets with named beneficiaries, and those held in a trust.

What If I Die Without a Will? Is Probate Still Necessary?

If you die without a will in New York or Connecticut, you are considered to have died “intestate.” In such cases, your assets and estate are managed according to intestacy laws rather than your wishes.