Nobody ever said filing for probate and retrieving your inheritance would be easy so call a lawyer if you need help.


This site is dedicated to providing residents of Suffolk County, Long Island, NY with pertinent information about the local Surrogate Court in Riverhead. We will provide you with everything you need to know in terms of directions, hours, legal services available at the court, and the best ways strategies to handle estate planning in New York.

Have no fear as Surrogate Court is here. That’s right folks, nobody wants to die without a will but it happens and when it does, it’s referred to in legal terms as “estate administration”. When this happens, the last will and testament basically go to the default NY state heirs. This process is not fun so you will need to get yourself a very professional estate administration attorney and get well acquainted with your local Suffolk County Surrogates Court. You will probably have to visit the court often so you may want to save it in your navigation or Waze.

Types of Estate Administrations:

Estate Administration: this is the process used to collect, oversee, and manage all assets involved in an estate upon the death of the owner. It has the ability to repay debts, back taxes, and distribute possessions and funds to surviving heirs or beneficiaries.

Formal administration: Supervised by the probate courts. A requirement for estates valued at over $75,000

Summary administration: Quicker probate administration created for smaller estates worth less than $75,000

Information from the best local Probate & Estate Lawyers

Finally, even if your loved ones did leave a will, you like likely need to probate it as well at this same court. This process again will involve a highly competent legal professional and of course the local court. We will be partnering with the most professional and experienced probate attorneys in the area to get you the most relevant information. Stay tuned for more tricks, tips, and law facts.

Official Suffolk county Surrogate’s Website: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/COURTS/10jd/suffolk/surrogates.shtml


Probate Law In NY: When Can It Be Avoided?

Probate courts can be long, complicated, and expensive.  This is why so many people choose to spare their family the inconvenience. Probate is the legal process of petitioning the court to uphold a will and appointing an executor to oversee the estate. The executor is the person who will carry out the wishes of the deceased. Based on the description in the will and within the required time.

Is probate always required in New York?

In many cases, probate will be required but there are certain circumstances where it can be avoided legally in the state of New York with the help of a probate lawyer. Not all assets are legally required to go through probate. Some assets that can skip probate and go directly to the named heirs after the death of the owner include:

Living Trusts

If a living trust is created the assets declared in and owned by the trust can be distributed after death without probate. This can include physical assets like real estate and cars, but also savings accounts and financial assets.

Joint Ownership

If the property is owned jointly between two people with “right of survivorship” and one of them dies the second person will automatically become owner over the property. Then the property will not need to go through probate.

There are several kinds of Joint Ownership distinctions

Joint Tenancy

Property owned equally under joint tenancy will pass to the surviving owner when one owner dies. This works for married or unmarried couples and with almost any type of property. No probate is necessary.

Tenancy by the entirety

Similar to Joint Tenancy but in this case, it is only available to married couples and for real estate.

Payable-on-Death (POD)

Payable on death is a classification used for bank accounts, savings accounts, and certificates. The money is totally under the control of the owner, but upon death, it only then comes under the ownership of the beneficiary, without probate.

Transfer-on-Death  (TOD)

Transfer on death is an ownership form for securities and brokerage accounts, stocks, bonds, etc. These financial assets will automatically be transferred to the beneficiary upon death without the hassle and cost of probate.

What are some benefits of having assets that don’t go through probate?

Other than the inconvenience and costs of having to go through probate there are many other benefits to have assets make as non-probate assets. For example, The distribution to beneficiaries is much quicker when probate is avoided. Creditors and agencies like Medicaid can seek reimbursement and collection from probated assets, but they cannot go after assets that are not under probate.

For those worried about privacy, there is a further issue. Probate and wills are made public documents while going through the probate courts. This means they are accessible by anyone, not just those involved in the case. Additionally, legal notifications are sent to the heirs if you had not had a will and they stood to benefit.  This can cause internal conflicts amongst the heirs and beneficiaries which can be easily avoided by having non-probate assets.

This article was brought to you by a local estate and probate law firm who is available for consultation regarding the probate process: Law offices of Roman Aminov. 105 Maxess Rd, Melville, NY 11747. (631) 983-6070

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