Helping You Protect Your Family, Your Assets And Your Legacy

Legal Representation For Executors

Losing a loved one is often one of the most difficult things we go through in our lives. We are here to help during these uncertain times and approach every New York estate administration with compassion and thoughtfulness. We understand that you are hurt, and we want to make this process as easy for you as possible.

However, from a legal standpoint, closing your loved one’s affairs may involve many different steps. New York attorney Elizabeth A. Ingold has years of experience settling many estates. She understands the nature of these often-difficult tasks and can navigate solutions for your legal needs. Our Buffalo law firm can provide thorough, competent, and efficient guidance, so you and your family members can focus on your grief.

New York’s Probate Process

If your loved one has passed away and left a last will and testament, this legal document must be verified by the New York courts. This process is called probate.

The actual probate process is a public court proceeding initiated in order to collect the decedent’s assets, pay his or her taxes and debts, and distribute what remains according to the will. In New York, the court which oversees this process is known as the Surrogate’s Court.

How your assets will be distributed is determined by your will. Accounts held in trust or with named beneficiaries are not part of the probate process. Keep in mind that this is a court process – with all of the attendant delays, expenses, aggravations, and sometimes disputes. As New York estate planners, our goal is to avoid probate as much as possible, using trusts and other ways of managing nonprobate assets.

If it is too late to avoid probate, Ingold Law PLLC can still help you. Our New York firm will provide you with the care, professionalism, and knowledge that our firm is known for. Together, we can help you get through this legal process.

Administrating An Estate With A Will

The probate process can be overwhelming, but with an experienced probate attorney on your side, the process will become easier to manage for you and your loved ones. Probate is a court procedure that declares a will valid and confirms that it is the last will of the deceased testator (the person who made the will). It will appoint an executor to ensure, upon the testator’s death, that all debts are paid, tax returns filed, and assets distributed – all according to the will. Many people attempt to compose their own wills, but in the state of New York, if the Surrogate Court judges find fault in your will, it is invalid.

You should not pass over the importance of probate validation and the type of attorney to handle it. Elizabeth A. Ingold is an experienced and recognized lawyer in Western New York. At our Buffalo firm, she will make sure your will is properly validated and executed according to your wishes and the laws of New York state.

Administering An Estate Without A Will

What if you do not have a will? Without a will, your assets will still be disbursed. This happens in a court proceeding similar to probate, called “administration.” Much of the process is similar to probate; however, instead of your will governing how assets will be distributed, the laws of the state in which you resided and/or held property will determine how your estate will be administered.

Depending on your unique circumstances, estate administration can be simpler than a probate proceeding or vastly more complex. Our Erie County firm can help in either type of situation, ensuring your hard-earned assets are distributed correctly on your behalf.

Small Estate Proceedings In Western New York

In New York state, a person who dies with an estate worth less than $50,000 can be administered via a “small estate proceeding.” This is often simpler and less costly than probate, and it can be used whether the decedent had a will or not.

The small estate process is relatively inexpensive for you and your loved ones. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you get through this proceeding relatively quickly and cost-effectively, or we can give you the advice you need to do it yourself. Contact our office at 716-972-3698 to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys. We are located in Williamsville and serve clients throughout the Buffalo metro area.