East Islip Probate Attorney


When you lose a loved one, probate is one of the many things that you’ll have to deal with. Going through probate can feel a bit daunting, therefore, it is in your best interest to consult our credible East Islip probate attorney to help you manage your deceased loved one’s affairs.

At Donato Law, we understand how heavy the probate process can be. Contact our law office now and schedule an initial consultation with our competent New York estate planning attorneys to learn more about your legal options.

Why Do I Need a Probate Attorney in New York City?

The process of probating and administering an estate can be extremely difficult and stressful. If you want to be able to get through the probate process as quickly as possible, you should seek legal advice from our trusted East Islip probate attorneys who are well-versed in probate and estate administration.

At Donato Law, we have extensive experience in representing numerous clients in a wide range of estate planning and probate concerns. We help:

  • help draft wills, create trusts, make arrangements for power of attorney, and even help probate estates.
  • will guide you through the process of probating the estate and ensuring your loved one’s wishes are carried out as they intended.
  • help navigate the complex legal waters of estate law.
  • help you defend the estate if it is contested by one or more of the heirs, and we will assist in the distribution of both probate and non-probate assets.

We work collaboratively with clients in establishing and implementing wealth-planning goals and objectives. We are proud to serve clients in East Islip, Suffolk County, NY, and the surrounding areas. Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation with our East Islip estate planning lawyers.

What is Probate?

Probate is the process of administering a deceased person’s estate. A knowledgeable East Islip probate attorney can guide you through the process of probating an estate. The probate process involves:

  • validating a will
  • identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property
  • having the property appraised
  • paying off debts and taxes
  • distributing assets to beneficiaries

If the deceased person has left a will, the probate court shall determine if the will is valid and authentic. Afterward, the court shall appoint a personal representative, typically the person named in the will, to administer the estate. On the other hand, if the deceased person died without having a will, they die intestate. In this case, the court will distribute the decedent’s assets according to state intestacy laws.

What Goes Through Probate?

In New York City, not all assets go through probate. Whether an estate has to be probated depends on how the decedent’s property is titled or owned when they die. A skilled East Islip probate lawyer can help you determine whether the deceased person’s assets require probate.

Property and assets that are only in your name are part of your probate estate. Examples of property or other assets that do go through probate are:

  • Real estate property titled solely in your name
  • Any bank, financial account, stock, or retirement account in your name only
  • Cars or vehicles titled in your name

On the other hand, some property may not be part of the probate estate because it passes directly to another person by law. Examples of property and assets that do not go through probate are:

  • Jointly owned real estate property where there is a right of survivorship
  • Property that’s held in a trust created by the decedent
  • Proceeds from a life insurance policy, bank, or retirement account with transfer-on-death beneficiaries

How Does Probate Work?

East Islip probate attorney Probate laws and procedures vary from state to state. The process of probate largely depends on whether or not you have a will. A qualified East Islip probate lawyer can help you understand how probate works. There are many steps to the probate process:

Submit a Death Certificate

The probate process begins when someone files a petition with the court to open probate for an estate after the owner has died. Along with the petition, the person will need to include a copy of the certificate of death and the original will. Once the court reviews this information, probate has officially opened. Without a will, then the decedent has died intestate. The court will initiate procedures for intestate probate.

Validate the Will and Appoint an Executor

If there is a will, the court validates or authenticates the will to make sure it is the intended and actual will of the testator. The next step is for a probate court judge to approve someone, an executor or personal representative named in your will, to administer the estate. The executor will be given “letters testamentary,” which serve as a permit to handle the decedent’s estate.

Appraise Property and Assets

The personal representative must determine the value of all probate assets by getting real estate appraisals, making an inventory of the property, and valuing assets.

Notify Beneficiaries and Creditors

Identifying heirs and notifying creditors of the probate administration must be done by the executor or personal representative.

Pay Valid Debts and Distribute Assets to Beneficiaries

The personal representative then pays any valid creditor claims and can dispute or settle creditor claims on behalf of the estate. Once all outstanding debts, estate taxes, and claims are paid, the executor will now distribute the remaining assets to the named beneficiaries and heirs. Without a will, then the distribution will be made according to state intestacy laws.

Close the Estate

To close probate, the executor must file a final accounting with the court which includes all the assets of the estate and income generated from those assets.

Call Our Trusted East Islip Probate Attorney Now!

Regardless of whether your estate is large and complex, or simple and modest, estate planning is essential. Establishing a comprehensive estate plan can help you and your family avoid the stress of probate. Navigating probate law often means juggling a lot of things at once, often while you’re in the middle of dealing with personal grief and family stress.

You can save your family considerable time and money with the help of our seasoned East Islip probate lawyers at Donato Law. Our estate planning law firm is committed to helping family members negotiate the probate process once a loved one has died. 

We have the necessary skills to handle the probate or estate administration issues that could arise. We offer our clients estate planning, trust and probate administration, and estate litigation services. Schedule a free consultation with our New York probate lawyer today to discuss your case.


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