Probate & Estate Administration

Probate and Estate Administration Attorney

The probate and estate administration team at DiVernieri, DiVernieri and Cotter, LLP regularly guides clients in Staten Island through the probate and estate administration process. Although probate law in New York is designed to provide for a quick and efficient probate process, there are a variety of important matters that must be handled before an estate is closed.

Our probate attorneys advise executors about their important duties and work to ensure the instructions of the will are properly followed. We also work with clients to navigate estate administration proceedings when a loved one dies without a will.

Whether you have been named as the executor of a loved one’s estate or you need assistance being appointed as the estate administrator, we can help. We understand the challenges of managing a loved one’s estate during such a difficult time and will work closely with you every step of the way. Please reach out to our experienced probate and estate administration attorneys today.


What is the probate process in New York?

Probate may sound like a daunting process, but it is simply a court-supervised procedure where a will is validated, and the executor named in the will is officially appointed to administer the estate. Our experienced probate attorneys will guide you through each step of the process and help you fulfill your important duties as an executor, including:

  • Petitioning the probate court to validate the will
  • Notifying the named beneficiaries and heirs
  • Inventorying and appraising the estate assets
  • Paying the decedent’s debts to creditors
  • Filing the decedent’s final income taxes
  • Paying any applicable federal estate taxes
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries

We understand that the probate process can be overwhelming, but we are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need during this difficult time. Contact our probate attorneys today for expert legal advice and representation.


Non-probate assets

Certain types of estate assets are exempt from the probate process, including jointly held real property with a right of survivorship, property held in a living trust that is properly designed and funded, life insurance policies and retirement accounts with designated beneficiaries, and bank and investment accounts with pay-on-death (POD) designations. It's also worth noting that the state law allows for a simplified probate process for "small estates" with a value of less than $50,000, excluding real estate, which enables the executor to distribute the assets without undergoing the full process.

However, an executor is considered a fiduciary and must always act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Any mistakes or misconduct can lead to liability. Therefore, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney. At DiVernieri, DiVernieri and Cotter, LLP, we provide trustworthy advice and ensure that your interests are protected as you perform your duties.


Staten Island Estate Administration Attorneys

In the event that a loved one has passed away without a will, our team can assist in having the probate court appoint an estate administrator, usually chosen from among the decedent's heirs, a legal relative, or a close friend. The appointed individual must be capable, trustworthy, and must follow the legal procedures required. Rest assured that our experienced probate and estate administration attorneys will work closely with you throughout the process to provide you with the guidance you need.


What else do I need to know about probate in Staten Island?

Clients have relied on us for generations to answer their probate-related questions, including:

Executor Compensation — Executors are entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable expenses related to the administration and distribution of the estate, as well as reasonable fees that vary depending on the location and size of the probate estate.

Probate Cost/Duration — The cost and duration of probate are determined by the size of the estate. Typically, the process takes between 9 and 18 months, and the cost includes probate fees (executor fees, attorneys' fees, and court filing fees), which can range from 5 to 7 percent of the total estate value. Small estates can usually be probated quickly and efficiently, but larger estates may involve complex legal, financial, and tax considerations. Regardless of the size of the estate, our skilled representation can protect your interests and help you avoid costly mistakes.


Contact Our Experienced Staten Island Probate and Estate Administration Attorneys

DiVernieri, DiVernieri and Cotter, LLP has the skills and experience to help you navigate probate and estate administration proceedings in Staten Island. Our team is committed to protecting the interests of personal representatives, estate administrators, and beneficiaries.

With extensive knowledge of New York state laws and regulations, we provide trustworthy advice and guidance to our clients. In the event of a will contest or any other dispute, we strive to reach a negotiated resolution. However, our team is highly experienced in estate litigation if the need arises.

We understand that losing a loved one is a difficult experience, and we will be your trusted advisors, offering you compassion, knowledge, and dependable service throughout the entire process. Contact our office today to speak with one of our experienced probate and estate administration attorneys.

Practice Areas

  •  Ted was always there for me guiding me through the process. He was patient and knowledgeable and always took the time to answer my questions. The cost was reasonable and worth every penny
    -Jennifer M
  • He took the time to explain each step of the process and addressed any questions and concerns we had along the way. He put us at ease as we knew he was looking out for our best interests at all times.
    -Patrick K
  • Ted Cotter was extremely professional, knowledgeable and responsive throughout the duration of my apartment closing. He instills confidence that things will be completed in a timely and efficient manner.
    -Nathan K

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