Practice Areas

Probate Administration

What is Probate and can the Wait be Avoided?

When a person who dies has a Will, that Will must be filed in the appropriate county’s Surrogate’s Court. Probate is the process of proving to the Court that the Will is valid. The Probate process can be lengthy, and any disputes are within the public domain. By placing your assets in revocable or irrevocable Trusts before you pass away, your Executor(s) can distribute assets to your heirs quickly, and Probate can be avoided. 

Initiating Probate

If a family member dies with a Will and assets in their name, Michael Greenberg will step you through the process of initiating Probate with the Surrogate's or Probate Court of the County where he or she resided at death. Michael will: 

  • Help the Executor to determine the value of the estate by conducting an estate inventory and appraising each asset. 

  • Incorporate this information along with the Will and death certificate into a petition to the Surrogate's or Probate Court.  

  • Follow up until a document called a “letter of testamentary” is issued, addressing any concerns about the Will’s validity if and as these occur.  

Image by Zac Nielson

Estate Administration

Judge's Table

Besides Probate, other steps must be taken for proper distribution of assets to occur. Michael Greenberg will work with the Will’s executors to use estate assets to pay outstanding debts and claims against the estate. He will work with your accountant to file taxes or prepare the returns directly if you wish. Depending on the timing, he may counsel the executors to distribute to the heirs in a phased manner over time. 

​Distributing Assets Without Probate

In cases where assets are protected by Revocable or Irrevocable Trusts, Michael will counsel your Trustees on how to administer these Trusts

and distribute assets quickly and painlessly.   

Would you like to deal with someone who treats executors and family members with great sensitivity during a difficult time, while also being

highly competent, efficient, and detail-focused? If so, contact Michael today!