No matter what line of work you are in, estate planning has facets that apply to everyone, and it comes down to documenting wishes and avoiding probate and unnecessary taxes. Too many people put it off, but, in general, the sooner you do it, the better.
Parker Law Firm
$500 Flat Fee for an Uncontested Probate – third party fees extra
ProbateZip™ can be used anywhere in New York State
The probate process is supposed to be simple. Mom or Dad passed away, their assets or even a single asset is locked up and requires the probate process in order to move forward. The asset is supposed to go to the surviving spouse or be split equally among the children and yet there’s this confusing Court process required of the survivors.
The Parker Law Firm is attempting to simplify this process for the vast majority of you that have a non-contested probate with our New PROBATEZIP™ process. So, let’s look at what’s involved in PROBATEZIP™.
To understand the probate process, and whether it is truly uncontested or not, you need to understand the term DISTRIBUTEES. Click this instructional video to understand who the distributees are because it's really impossible to go forward unless you understand this concept.
We are assuming that all the distributees are in agreement with this filing. They will be required to sign a waiver that states they agree:
- That the Will is in fact the true and accurate Last Will and Testament and
- They agree about who will act as the Executor or Administrator.
If one of your brothers and sisters; doesn't want to sign the paperwork-will not call you back- is going to ignore you and cause you trouble- YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD until either they sign a waiver or a Court date is held.
At the Court date they are given an opportunity to explain to the Court either, 1) Why the Last Will and Testament is not valid and 2) Why the petitioner shouldn't be the Executor or the Administrator. If you have to go this route, an appearance in Court is required and this form is not appropriate. Our Skilled Attorneys can handle that case, but it will cost more money. Contact our office for details.
We can represent you anywhere in New York State.
Hopefully, your children or your siblings will agree and you can begin the PROBATEZIP™ process. Once you begin our automated PROBATEZIP™ process, you will be asked a series of questions. Based on your answers the website will create a PDF document that can be filed in Court. That document will be reviewed by our office. Once that review is complete and there are no revisions required, you will sign the documents in front of a notary and snail mail the document and the supporting documents to our office. We will file them for you with the appropriate Court.
Supporting documents you will need:
- A certified original death certificate (must have a raised seal).
- The original Last Will and Testament - copies do not count, If you cannot find the original stapled Last Will and Testament and only have a copy then the person died without a Will and you have to file administration proceeding. NEVER REMOVE THE STAPLES FROM THE WILL.
- A photocopy of the Will. (wait you just said copies don’t count). This is a working copy so we can review it without touching the original Will. Remember do not remove the staples when copying.
- The Funeral Bill. If the Funeral Bill is paid it must be stamped paid by the funeral home. If it's not been paid, that's fine but we have to tell the Court.
- You must have the names and addresses of all living children of the decedent including those born out of wedlock or those legally adopted. Step children that were not adopted or children that somebody raised but never legally adopted do not count.
- Waivers Signed by the Distributees in front of a notary. We will provide the waivers, you get the signatures.
New York State requires filing fees based on the amount of assets listed in the Petition. We will charge you for the Filing Fees and submit the payment with the Petition. This is in addition to our legal fee. The fees are as follows:
|Value of Estate||Fee Rate|
|Less than $30,000||$1.00*|
|30,000 but under 50,000||$215.00|
|50,000 but under 100,000||$280.00|
|$100,000 but under $250,000||$420.00|
|$250,000 but under $500,000||$625.00|
|$500,000 and over||$1,250.00|
* There is an exception to this, especially if you only have a personal injury case pending, but the fee is usually under $100. We will let you know if you fall into this exception.
Once you are named Executor or Administrator you must use Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration to show proof of your appointment. The Clerks charge $6.00 per Letter. Often each financial institution wants their own original letter. You can always order more later but we recommend you get at least three at the start.
You will be charged $35 for postage and shipping. We are required to overnight documents to certain courts and we will need to send the documents back to you.
Because of the large transaction you will be making, we must charge a 3% service charge on the total amount charged.
What Happens Later
Once the Court approves the petition you will be sent either Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration (some call them letters of appointment) along with other detailed information from the Court. Once you receive the Letters, you are required to get a Tax ID number from the IRS to open any bank account. We do not do this for you. You should contact your accountant or CPA.
Within seven months of your appointment, any creditor of the decedent can file a claim against the estate by formally filing with the Court. You are required to pay any debts owed by the decedent that were legally filed in the Court during that seven-month period. If you do not pay those bills that are legally filed with the Court, you as the Executor or Administrator are personally responsible for those debts.
Within nine months you are required to file an inventory of assets. This is an added form which you can do through the website at a later time. However, we are not responsible for taking care of this form unless you hire us to do it. The inventory of assets also will set out the final amount of filing fees required. So, if you have found additional assets than those stated in the Petition, you must pay the increased filing fee. If there is less you get a refund.
After the inventory of assets, you are supposed file a closing statement with the Court. Failure to file the closing statement means that the other beneficiaries can still technically come back an object to things that you did as Executor or Administrator even though they already have their money. In a friendly proceeding this is not likely to happen. However, if you wish to file a closing statement and/or receive releases from your brothers and sisters to protect yourself, those forms are additional costs that requiring a new engagement agreement.