If your loved one has recently passed away, you may be wondering – how long does the probate process take in New York. Please watch this short video or read the entire script below, to learn about the timeline and the step by step process of probate in New York. 

Contact Sverdlov Law at 212-709-8112 or ksverdlov@sverdlovlaw.com to learn more or set up a consultation here: https://calendly.com/katyasverdlov

If you have recently lost a family member, you may be wondering how long the court process to settle their estate will take. We – at Sverdlov Law, a New York State probate firm – can make the process easy to understand. While the length of these cases can depend on a number of different factors, there is a general timeline that you can expect straightforward cases to follow.

It comes as a shock to most people, but probate takes on average 12 to 24 months from the time when the initial papers are filed in the court to the final distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. But remember – this timeline can be significantly longer – depending on the complexity of the person’s estate, the number of beneficiaries, and whether there are any disputes or challenges among the surviving family. In general, the steps to be taken in a probate case are as follows:

  • First – You must prepare a Petition. This requires getting correct information about the decedent. If there is a Will – all the information about beneficiaries is included. The New York Court requires the Executor to find the decedent’s closest relatives and collect their signatures (called a Waiver) – ensuring that they do not later dispute the Will. This process of preparation alone can take months.
  • Second – File the signed petition with the Surrogates Court in the county where the decedent lived. The original death certificate must also be filed. If there was a Will, the original must be given to the court. A filing fee must be paid, the amount depending on the size of the estate.
  • Third – The court will review the petition, ensure that everyone was notified properly, verify the Will’s validity, and confirm the appointment of the Executor. This process of court review and Executor’s appointment usually takes months, as the New York City courts are constantly backed up.
  • Fourth – Once the Executor is appointed, the executor will have to give notice to all known creditors of the decedent, giving them an opportunity to file claims against the estate. The Executor also has wait (at least 7 months) giving a chance to all the unknown creditors to file claims against the Estate.
  • Fifth – The executor must next find and gather all of decedent’s assets remaining in his name. It requires working with banks, life insurance companies, pension funds, brokerage firms, cooperative boards (if any) and other states (if there was property in other states). That process alone can also take a few months.
  • Sixth – The executor must pay all outstanding debts and taxes owed by the estate. Make sure that all the debts are paid from decedent’s funds only and NOT from the Executor’s own money.
  • Seventh – Finally – Once all the decedent’s assets are collected and all the debts are paid, the Executor can distribute the remaining funds to the beneficiaries. To avoid any future liability, the Executor should collect final Waivers from everyone, to confirm that everyone agrees with their amount of distribution.

It is important to remember that the timeline for a probate case in New York can vary widely – depending on the specific circumstances of your estate. If you have questions about any steps of the probate process, please click the link below to make an appointment or call us at 212-709-8112 and we will be happy to assist you. https://calendly.com/katyasverdlov