Introduction

This is an easy guide to a hard topic.

Whether you have recently experienced the loss of a loved one or are simply preparing for the future, administering an estate is a challenging topic. The New York Probate and Estate Guide walks you through key steps of the legal process that begins when a loved one passes away in New York State. In clear, simple language, learn about how the law settles estates where there is a Will or where there is no Will... how long the process takes... what taxes you might have to pay... whether you will need a lawyer... and much more.

Whether you are a beneficiary of an estate or will be serving as the Court-appointed representative of an estate, this guide will answer most of your questions about what to expect and what others (including the government) will expect from you. But just a word of caution: while this guide makes estate and inheritance issues a bit simpler, they remain quite complex. Accordingly, legal and related tax issues should be handled by a competent attorney who is thoroughly experienced with estate administration. This guide is not intended to serve as a how-to or self-help manual.

This Guide does not cover (except with passing reference) litigation matters brought by or against an estate nor does it cover estate planning that is needed for the surviving spouse when the first spouse passes away. These subjects are beyond the scope of this Guide.

Whether you are a beneficiary of an estate or will be serving as the Court-appointed representative of an estate, this guide will answer most of your questions about what to expect and what others (including the government) will expect from you. But just a word of caution: while this guide makes estate and inheritance issues a bit simpler, they remain quite complex. Accordingly, legal and related tax issues should be handled by a competent attorney who is thoroughly experienced with estate administration. This guide is not intended to serve as a how-to or self-help manual. This Guide does not cover (except with passing reference) litigation matters brought by or against an estate nor does it cover estate planning that is needed for the surviving spouse when the first spouse passes away. These subjects are beyond the scope of this Guide.


SECTION 1 - ASSETS AND THE LAW
A. Assets That Do Not Require Court Intervention
B. Assets That Require Court Intervention
C. Small Estate Proceeding
SECTION 2 - INTESTACY: WHEN A PERSON DIES WITHOUT A WILL
A. Application for Administrator
B. Heirs and Their Rights
C. The Role Of The Estate Administrator
D. Distributions to The Heirs Under New York Law
SECTION 3 - PROBATE: WHEN A PERSON DIES WITH A WILL
A. The "Probate" Process
B. Substitute Executors
C. Notifying The Beneficiaries and Heirs
D. Special Rights Of The Surviving Spouse
E. If The Will Cannot Be Located
SECTION 4 - DUTIES OF THE EXECUTOR AND ADMINISTRATOR
A. Locating and Collecting Assets
B. Managing The Assets During The Estate Settlement Process
C. Filing Tax Returns and Paying Taxes
D. Closure Of The Estate Process
E. Litigation
SECTION 5 - COMPENSATION OF THE EXECUTOR AND ADMINISTRATOR
SECTION 6 - TAXES
A. Individual Income Taxes
B. Estate Taxes
The 2016 Federal Estate Tax Rates
The 2017 Federal Estate Tax Rates
The New York Estate Tax Rates Between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017
The New York Estate Tax Rates Between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018
C. Fiduciary Income Taxes
The 2016 Federal Fiduciary Income Tax Rates
The 2017 Federal Fiduciary Income Tax Rates
The 2016 New York Fiduciary Income Tax Rates
The 2017 New York Fiduciary Income Tax Rates
D. Income Taxes To Beneficiaries
SECTION 7 - FINAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE
SECTION 8 - THE ROLE OF THE ATTORNEY FOR THE ESTATE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Howard Garfinkel, Esq.

Lauterbach Garfinkel Damast & Hollander, LLP
49 North Airmont Road, Suite 101
Suffern, New York 10901
845-368-4400 - Office
howardg@lgdhlaw.com