When going through a process like an estate administration or a probate proceeding, it can be overwhelming trying to navigate the legal system on your own. But with our team at Seaman Norris LLP's Law Firm has years of experience handling estate administration and can guide you through every step, ensuring that all matters are taken care of properly and efficiently.
We've helped countless clients with estate administration, including determining the validity of a will, distributing assets, and resolving any disputes that may arise. That's why so many in Niagara County trust us to handle their estate planning legal aspects, as our legal team understands how clients may feel with so many other factors to deal with surrounding a family member's death. With us, you can find peace of mind and focus on grieving and honoring your loved one's memory.
Estate administration in New York state can be arduous, yet bearable, with proper guidance. On average, this process takes around 7 months to 3 years to complete. Due to the length of the process, it's important to choose a personal representative that you trust and who is knowledgeable about the local legal system.
Here, we'd like to provide you with as much of our knowledge to help with understanding everything that entails being a personal representative and what that role means in the context of your decedent's estate plan.
With Seaman Norris as your personal representative in Niagara County, we handle everything from filing necessary court documents to determining the distribution of assets. We also work closely with you when it comes to ensuring that all legal matters are taken care of and that the legacy planning process goes smoothly.
Many wills that are written may include assets to be dispersed to descendants or to a surviving spouse such as personal property, retirement plans, or bank accounts. Our team at Seaman Norris will handle all the legal steps to ensure that those assets are properly distributed according to the deceased's wishes.
For a free consultation on your estate planning or probate process, call us using the button below.
Continue reading to learn more about how a probate attorney or probate lawyer can help during this legal process.
Probate is the lawful process in which a court, a surrogate's court in most cases, validates a decedent's will and oversees the distribution of their assets. It can be a lengthy process, though an experienced probate attorney can guide you through it seamlessly.
According to New York state law, you are required to open a probate proceeding if the decedent had any type of real estate or assets worth over $30,000 and if there is a proper will to be carried out. For small estates totaling less than $30,000, a "small estate proceeding" is held that is "administered" to their beneficiaries.
The probate process can be interrupted if there contest between beneficiaries. This is often in the form of a dispute to the will, such as a disagreement about distributing the decedent's property, accounts, or life insurance policies.
Life insurance is usually dispersed upon death to the beneficiary named in the policy and not in the estate plan, though if the decedent died without an inheritor to name in either the will or an insurance policy, then the courts will need to determine the rightful heir based on the local state law.
As for the probate attorney fees, they fall usually within 3% to 7% of the estate's value, though depending on the total, it can go much higher than this rate. It's best to contact your probate lawyer for a more accurate estimation of probate fees.
The estate tax in Niagara County, New York, is determined by the total estate value of assets that have been left behind by a decedent. The threshold at which one is required to pay will vary depending on local state laws, though for residents in Niagara County, an estate value over $6.11 million is subject to an estate tax.
An estate tax is also imposed on the federal level if an estate value reaches over $12.06 million for those who passed away in 2022. To be sure about any other factors that may affect an estate tax or to find out the valuation price threshold for your area, be sure to confer with your state law or a probate lawyer.
An executor is a person who is responsible for carrying out the terms of a will. This includes managing the deceased person's assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. The executor is also responsible for ensuring that the will is filed with the probate court and that all legal requirements are met.
Most executors are compensated for their services. Executor fees are typically charged as a percentage of the value of the estate. The executor fee is generally paid out of the estate's assets, but in some cases, the executor may be entitled to reasonable compensation from the beneficiaries. In most states, executor fees are subject to state law and must be approved by the probate court.
If you have been named as an executor in a will, it is important to understand your responsibilities and what you can expect in terms of compensation. Executor fees can vary widely, so it is important to get all the information upfront.
In some cases, executors may be entitled to reasonable compensation even if there are no executor fees charged. If you want to ensure that you're accepting a compensation fit for your services, it's best to consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you on your rights and options.
Our Niagara County legal services are extended to the following major cities and towns:
Some legal information can be rather esoteric and difficult to find in a timely manner. In an effort to save our Niagara County clients both time and stress, we've accumulated a list of local courthouses and legal bodies that can provide more information on estate law, the probate process, and many other legal matters:
Local Niagara County Court Info List | Niagara County Court House (Probate Subdivision Court) - Niagara County Family Court
To get in touch with us, please call us using the button below and one of our representatives will be in touch as soon as possible. Thank you for considering Seaman Norris LLP for your law firm.