Melville, NY, Estate Administration Lawyer

Schneider, Garrastegui, & Fedele, PLLC guides people through the challenging estate administration process.
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Estate Administration in Melville, NY

Probating an estate can be challenging, but it’s even more difficult when someone passes away without a will. When this happens, you have to obtain Letters of Administration before moving forward with administering the estate of a decedent. Then you need to follow the state’s inheritance laws when distributing the property and might face serious legal challenges. With so much to do, you likely feel overwhelmed and unsure if you’re making the right decisions. You’re also concerned about the legal consequences of making mistakes when administering an estate.

Instead of navigating the process alone, reach out to a Melville, NY, estate administration lawyer from our firm. We can initiate the process and help you every step of the way or assist with specific tasks. Discuss your needs with us to formulate a legal strategy to help.

Estate Administration Process

You must complete numerous steps when administering an estate in New York. Our Melville, NY, estate administration lawyer can assist with:

  • Obtaining Letters of Administration
  • Sending the requisite notifications
  • Gathering and inventorying assets
  • Paying debts pursuant to NYS law
  • Preparing and filing taxes
  • Handing legal challenges
  • Distributing assets

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Why Choose Schneider, Garrastegui, & Fedele, Pllc?

  • Hyper-focused on Your Needs – While some firms dabble in numerous practice areas, we focus on elder law and real estate. Our limited scope of practice allows us to stay up-to-date and provide hyper-focused, client-centric legal services.
  • Highly Rated – Our firm has accumulated numerous 5-star reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Avvo.
  • Two Locations to Serve You – Visit our fully staffed Class A office space in Melville, NY, or make an appointment at our satellite office in Hauppauge, NY.
  • Small Firm with Big Firm Assets – As a small firm, you can expect hands-on, customized service with us. At the same time, our assets are comparable to a much larger firm, so we have the resources to help clients of varying and even challenging needs.
  • Bilingual Support – With both English and Spanish-speaking staff and attorneys, you’ll feel at home at our firm.

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New York’s Inheritance Laws

When someone passes away without a will, the property is distributed based on New York’s laws of intestacy. The surviving spouse is the first in line, followed by the children, parents, and siblings. The amount that each receives depends on the number of surviving heirs. For instance, if the deceased left behind a spouse but no children, the spouse would receive the full estate. However, if the deceased also had children, the spouse would receive the first $50,000 and the children (regardless of age) would split the remaining fifty percent with the spouse when settling the estate. Additionally, the spouse would be entitled to half of the remaining balance, the rest to the children.

If the deceased isn’t survived by a spouse, kids, parents, or siblings, the situation becomes more complicated. While the estate might go to surviving cousins, you may have to contend with kinship hearings while people try to prove they are rightful heirs.

This can be confusing and stressful, so consult with our Melville, NY, estate administration lawyer for legal guidance.

Financial Challenges When Administering An Estate

Legal issues often arise when tracking down and preserving the estate’s assets. For instance, you might discover that someone used a power of attorney to clean out the deceased’s bank account right before he or she passed away. If that happens, your Melville, NY, estate administration lawyer might recommend initiating Turn Over proceedings to recover the funds.

Additionally, creditors might make claims for money that the estate doesn’t owe. In this case, your attorney can gather evidence to show that the debt isn’t valid.

This is far from an inclusive list of potential legal challenges you face. Thus, reach out to an attorney for help so you can move through the process and distribute the property.

Assets That Skip Probate

Some assets are not subject to estate administration. Thus, you won’t be in charge of distributing such property. This includes the property inside a trust and assets with designated beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies. Also, you won’t have to administer certain joint tenancy or payable on death accounts. Finally, retirement accounts, including IRAs, do not have to go through probate. Consult with our Melville, NY, estate administration lawyer to learn more about what does and does not go through probate.

Do You Need A Bond?

In some instances, the estate’s fiduciary needs to obtain a bond while administering the estate. This protects the beneficiaries from financial mishaps and impropriety. Essentially, it ensures that the assets are preserved for the beneficiaries. Because a bond isn’t needed in all instances, it’s a good idea to consult with a Melville, NY, estate administration lawyer first. Your attorney can review the situation to see if you need to acquire a bond before moving forward. If not, your lawyer can help you preserve the assets and protect your interests during probate.

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Clients first entrusted us to help them with their estate planning and elder law issues over 30 years ago. Since then, we have expanded our practice to include real estate, but our focus continues to be on assisting clients with some of the biggest issues they will face in their lives.

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