Qualified Probate Attorney Ulster County

Probate Attorney Ulster County New York

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Probate Attorney Ulster County: Dedication. Determination. Proven results

Facts: According to studies, about 55 percent of adult Americans don’t have an estate plan or a will in place. The number increases significantly within minority groups, with more than 68 percent black adults and Hispanic adults dying intestate.

We are a firm that boasts of having the trust of our clients. We are widely known to provide excellent legal representation for both local and international clients. Our clients take a lot of comfort in knowing that when they hire a qualified Probate Attorney Ulster County, they are working with a team of legal experts with the business judgment, experience, and resources to handle nearly all the probate issues that come your way. We are trusted.

Probate refers to a legal process that usually takes place when a person dies. The aim of probate is to process in the court that the will left behind is valid and can be admissive in probate court.

The Probate Process

This process usually involves a few steps. These include:

  • Proving in probate court that the decedent’s person’s will is legal.
  • Listing the property that the decedent left behind.
  • Knowing how much the property of the decedent is worth.
  • Paying off any debts and taxes that the decedent accrued over time.
  • Distributing the amount left as per the guidelines of the will, or if there is no will, the law.

While many people want to avoid the probate process because it takes time and is expensive, not every property will have to go through it. There are so many ways to avoid this process: the use of payable on death accounts, giving away property as gifts before death, and owning property jointly in Ulster County.

While the process can be long, the right Ulster County probate lawyer can help you mitigate any issues that arise during the process.

Free consultation 24/7

The probate process shouldn’t give you a headache in Ulster County when we are here to help you. Call us today to schedule an appointment so that you can come in to discuss your issue.


Marianna Schwartsman

Small Estate Administration in Ulster County


Small estate laws were enacted in Ulster County to allow the heirs to receive property that the decedent wanted them to have without the need for a probate process. You can avoid the Ulster County probate process entirely or shorten it if there are conditions that you meet.

For one, you don’t have to go to probate when the estate’s total value is way less than $150,000, and any claims against the estate have already been met.

Talk to a probate attorney in Ulster County to understand where your property lies – whether to go for probate or not.

Filing an Affidavit

You need to file an affidavit with the probate clerk in the county where the decedent lived, in this case, Ulster County. This affidavit needs to be filed by anyone receiving proceeds from the estate under contention.

The affidavit needs to state that the conditions that make the estate categorized as a small estate are true.

After the affidavit has been filed, then the clerk signs it and gives you copies. These copies can be given to the various financial institutions or any entity that is party to the process. If you are far from the court, you can engage probate attorney Ulster County services to help you file the affidavit the right way.

One of the best ways to handle small estate probate in his county is to work with an Ulster County probate lawyer that understands what you need.

After you have a lawyer with you, you have to follow a few steps to make things work for you:

Complete the Affidavit

You need to complete the affidavit that you had filed with the probate clerk. One or more heirs should do completion of the affidavit. You then need to file the affidavit with the clerk. You might have to pay some money for the filing.

If there are other people interested in the property, then you might wish to know if they have an interest in the property or not. If they don’t, they might have to sign a waiver whereby they waive the interest in the property. You need to file the waiver with the affidavit.

If you stay out of the state, and you need to make contact with other beneficiaries. A probate lawyer in Ulster County can assist you in getting to them and to have them sign the waiver.

Notice of Publication

Since the estate doesn’t have any real estate property involved, you need to file a notice in the newspaper so that any creditors have a debt with the decedent to come forward and lodge claims. If you are an executor placing the notice, then this is one cost that you need to take note of.

Once the notice has run, the newspaper will send you a note showing when the notice run and for how long. You need to file this note with the probate clerk so that no one will say they didn’t receive the notice. Additionally, if there are other potential heirs, you need to send them a copy of the notice.

Deed of Distribution

After the previous steps are done, and once the period of waiting has elapsed, the heirs will get the authority to issue a deed of distribution for the property. They also need to deliver a notice that details the transfer of ownership of the property in the county where it is located.

However, this is always not the case, and you need to be ready for any eventuality. With an Ulster County probate lawyer working closely with you, all you have is to follow their advice, and you will be good.

Will Contests: Avoid them When You Can, Stay Safe When You Cant

Not every person will be happy with the will that the decedent left behind. The justly inherited child, the illegitimate child, or the person who depended on the decedent for daily survival. The spouse might be outraged at the gift that has been left to the decedent’s longtime friend.

In short, the decedent and intended beneficiaries are all human – they have their own frailties and can change their tune anytime.

As probate lawyers in Ulster County, we understand that flaws are there, and regardless of what happens, we owe you competent legal representation. In this context, we help you draft legally-binding documents, but we make sure these documents will help dispose of your assets the right way when the time comes.

Types of Will Contests

We have seen many types of will contests, and we have seen them fail, and some succeed. When it comes to will contests, we have categories them into four broad categories:

Issues with the Will

An interested party can contest the probate of the will or the validity if they assert that:

  • The will that has been in the will is ineffective in whole or in part.
  • There is another new will that hasn’t been presented in the petition as the will of the decedent.
  • The decedent agreed to die intestate.

Due to this, there are various scenarios that we come across in Ulster County that require litigation. As to every scenario, there are simple tips that can help you avoid a fight in court.

Contracts to make a Will

This is the first scenario that we have seen as we handle cases with families. The husband told the wife that when she survives, she gets everything, but when she passes on, everything goes to the kids. Such contracts aren’t binding in modern society.

In such a case, a probate lawyer in Ulster County reviews and inspect any previous wills, and then come up with a conclusion whether the contract exists or not.

Another dispute arises when the caregiver who became family alleges that the decedent promised her the house when he passes on. Well, in such a case, the situation is easy to defend because most of these promises are usually oral.

This is why we advise our clients on the promises they make to those close to them yet not related. While the case might be simple to handle, the process makes everything long and complicated.

Another case is where the decedent has an obligation – usually included in the divorce agreement – to provide a certain benefit to the children of a previous marriage or an ex-spouse in the event he passes on.

When this happens, we usually inspect a previous divorce agreement, especially those concerned with a support obligation.

These theories challenge the validity of a will and make a probate process drag on for years. This is why we come up with a way to handle the process and make everything work out best.

Lack of Testamentary Capacity

For a will to be admissible to probate, the decedent must have drafted it when at list 18 years or legally married, and be of sound mind.

What does having a “sound mind” mean?

  • The decedent was able to understand the nature of the act that he is to get engaged.
  • The person should know the extent of the property before he comes up with the will. He should know what effect the document will have on these assets.
  • Understand the claims of those that are or might be the beneficiaries of the property.
  • Understand the scope and effects of the document on his family and the people close to him.

To this end, we shall ask you various questions when you come to make a will in our office:

  • Do you know why you are in the office in the first place?
  • Do you know the role of a will in disposing of your assets?
  • Do you know what you own and the fact that the will controls the way the property is handled when you pass away?
  • Do you know what you own?
  • Do you know where the assets you own are located?

We use the answers to these questions to determine whether you have a case or not. We then advise you accordingly.

Undue Influence

Through all we do, one of the biggest numbers of litigations come in due to undue influence. This is where the litigant establishes that the decedent had a relationship that ended up with a person being granted property when in the real sense, they weren’t supposed to receive any.

Pointing out the case of undue influence is easy – you have to display to the court that the will deviates from the norm. Usually, we look at the relationship between the decedent and the person that has got the disproportionate share and how it led to the influence.

What to Do when a Challenge Comes Your Way

As an executor, you need to be ready for any eventualities. When you get a challenge to a will that has been admitted to probate, you need to enlist probate attorney Ulster County services that will handle the litigation of wills. The lawyer that you work with has handled the probate process before.

Meeting with Your Probate Attorney Ulster County

Whether you are meeting your Ulster County probate lawyer for the first or second time, you must understand that working with them is different from working with a typical lawyer. A lot more is involved with such consultation and you must be prepared to meet all the expectations. Some probate attorneys give you a list of what you need to carry to the meeting while others leave it up to you to decide what to bring along. 

The purpose of this initial meeting is to assist both of you to obtain the information and advice needed to handle the probate proceedings.  Sound preparation ensures that you make good use of the appointment. Here are some tips on what you should do before and during the meeting:

Write Important Information Down

Just as you would do for any other appointment, note down the questions you have so that you do not forget to ask them. During the meeting, write down any important answers that the lawyer provides.

If there is anything you need to inform the lawyer, write it down as well.  Do not withhold any information, however embarrassing it may be. The attorney is required to keep the information confidential and share it with the court only when necessary. Some of the information you consider too trivial may be extremely important for the case.

Make Soft Copies of the Documents

The probate lawyer will expect you to provide copies of the estate documents as well as any other documents provided by the court. You should do this during the initial consultation.

Since you do not need to give them the original documents, make sure you photocopy each of them. You can also scan the documents and send them to the lawyer before the meeting. This allows the lawyer to go through the documents and advise if any is missing.

Find out the Mode of Payment

Some lawyers do not charge you for the initial consultation. Others do. Find out how much you will need to pay before getting into the meeting. Carry some cash as well as your bank cards or checkbook depending on the mode of payment preferred by the lawyer.

Do not wait until the meeting has ended to find out the charges. You need to know the charges and prepare the payment beforehand.

Understand the Agreement before Signing

The lawyer may use this meeting to discuss their terms of service. If you are happy with the terms, you will be required to sign an agreement that outlines the contract terms and your obligations to the lawyer.

Do not do the agreement unless you clearly understand the terms. Read through it and confirm that it outlines everything about your engagement. Point out what is missing and give the lawyer time to make the necessary revisions. 

Be Responsive

The Ulster County probate process involves several deadlines. After the initial meeting, make sure you perform all the actions as instructed. Do not wait for the lawyer to follow you up. If some documents need to be prepared, work with the lawyer to get them ready before the court’s deadline.

If you need to provide some more information after the meeting, do so as quickly as you can. Always feel free to consult the attorney in case you do not understand some of the requirements.

Why Choose to Work with Us?

Most individuals in Ulster County always wish that they can have control over what happens to their assets once they pass away. They desire to see the estate distributed to the right beneficiaries using the right procedure. This can be achieved, but only to a certain level.

For estates where many beneficiaries are involved, having a plan while still alive is the only way out. For estates where disputes are involved, probate is the only way out.

As a law firm, we provide you with affordable options that can help you tackle probate issues more efficiently. We offer you the necessary support during the probate period until a positive resolution is reached.

So far, we have assisted several clients in the county with administering their estates – whether through testacy or intestacy procedures. We understand that dealing with the loss of a loved one and probate at the same time can be difficult. We take the responsibility of representing you at the probate court to ensure that the affairs associated with the decedent’s estate are completed as quickly as possible.

Although there are other probate firms around, we have successfully remained at the top of the rank because of our unique strategies and solutions. Some of the advantages of hiring us include:

We Prioritize Your Needs

Our solutions are customized to fulfill your interests. We always make the necessary adjustments to fit in your availability and schedule. We can always meet you at a convenient time – including weekends.

We use strategies that have been tested and proven to be working. Whatever solutions we recommend to you have a high possibility of success. We have used them in previous cases, and they have yielded 100 percent positive results.

Our team is trained to give you adequate attention and care as required. Before we start working on your case, we take the time to research any procedures and legalities involved. Doing this ensures that we do not make things more complicated for you and your family.

We are Ulster County Probate Experts

We possess a track history of handling probate cases in the county. Our clients love our services because of our exceptional work standards. We offer you the right legal knowledge that can guide you in making decisions.

Each member of our team is highly experienced in probate matters. We are always dedicated to offering you the best solution for every situation. When not working on a client’s case, we spend our time researching on any changes and updates in probate regulations within the locality.

We do not rush into making recommendations about your case. We always want to ensure that we offer you the right solution to any challenges you may be facing in the process.

Some of the specialized probate matters that we may help you resolve include, but are not limited to:

  • Resolving any debts left behind by the deceased
  • Distributing the assets to the legal heirs
  • Handling taxation issues
  • Advising you on ways to protect the estate during probate
  • Transferring property titles once probate is concluded.

We Identify the Uniqueness of Each Case

We understand that every case presented to us poses some level of uniqueness. We also understand how each case is important to the client. When you walk into our office, you can be sure that your situation will take care of the urgency and seriousness that it deserves.

We do not give some clients priority over others. We have enough professionals on our team, and each of them is equally capable of handling any case. We leverage the ability of our attorneys to meet your specific needs.

Our target is to make the complex probate process more manageable for your family. We not only offer you the right solution; we ensure that it is also the best.

We Deliver Results

The outcome of probate can be positive or negative depending on how you carry out the entire process, and how well you are represented legally. Besides focusing on your needs, we also ensure that the probate court’s final decision is in favor of the deceased’s interests.

Our firm has a history of winning even the most complex probate cases. Our clients are often assured of positive results. We have a few testimonials from the past that we can share with you.

We maximize the possibility of a positive outcome by personalizing each case. Once you sign an agreement with us, we support you to the end and can never hand you to another person. This is one of our firm’s policies.

We are good at coming up with creative strategies when handling probate proceedings. We understand that every situation needs to be handled using a unique approach, and this is what assures our clients of a win.

We are good at Handling Legal Claims

We aim to secure your assets from legal claims. These are common in most probate proceedings, and if not handled with care, they may distort the whole probate process.

Our probate attorneys in Ulster County are best equipped to guide you through the most complex contests and claims. We make use of the guidelines in the will to counter these contests. One of our duties is to ensure that the ruling of the court favors the beneficiaries over other interested parties.

We Respond Quickly

Our firm’s policy does not allow us to keep our clients waiting. Once we commit to representing you, we do our best to ensure that you can easily reach us. We have all the information you need at our fingertips.

We provide instant responses to your questions and concerns. We also do our best to make sure that you are comfortable and satisfied with our approach.

We understand that the legal procedures associated with probate can be confusing. That is why we make you understand what to anticipate from the proceedings early enough. We meet with you from time to time to update you on the progress of your case as we also ensure that you are prepared for any outcome of your case.

Estate planning lawyer

Probate attorney Ulster County FAQs

This is a legally licensed lawyer who works with an estate’s beneficiaries and their administrator to ensure that the deceased person’s will have been settled. A probate attorney is conversant with the probate process and knows all required for an easy and smooth probate process.

The probate attorney helps the estate administrators to file for the probate petition. The attorney also handles all the necessary documents required by the courts to get the probate process started.

Through their expertise, they also advise on decisions that need to be made by the family regarding paying off creditors and inheritance taxes. An attorney helps to file taxes so that the courts can clear the property. They also help the family to pay off any creditors who might come to contest the will so that the probate process can take a short time.

With the help of an attorney, the estate administrator can easily get the probate property valued, which is required by the court before settling the estate. From the valuation, the beneficiaries can know the approximate market value of their estate.

Most probate processes involve a lot of court proceedings, which the attorney can attend on behalf of the family while helping them fill any legal documents required by the courts.

Yes. However, the whole probate process requires a lot of legal documentation, making it easier if one has legal advice. The process is also much easier (and can be shorter) if the formal process has adhered to the latter. This can only be made possible by working with an attorney.

Some estate administrators opt to do all the work by themselves, especially if they cannot afford the attorney’s fee. However, the probate process is quite tedious and requires one to attend a lot of court proceedings. The administrator can do it, but it is time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. They would also need to make lots of consultations when things don’t work as expected.

A probate attorney makes the process easier and shorter because they have long-term experience in the probate process and know all the right requirements to fast track the process. It also gets the burden off the family which might be emotionally unstable because of the loss of a loved one.

The best way would be to work with referrals. That is the only way you can be assured of quality services. One can talk to their family, friends, colleagues, or anyone who has gone through the probate process and find out the attorneys they worked with. 


With referrals, you can circle down to the best attorney you can work with, and you will be assured of their expertise in the field and meet your needs.

The other option is to search online for reputable attorneys within your state of residence. Many first have their details online, showing their experiences with genuine reviews. Use the reviews to identify a great attorney to work with.

This is very critical, as not all attorneys will have experience in handling probate. The first thing to look for is one who has experience in handling the probate process. This gives you an upper hand in getting all your questions answered and have a smooth process. 

You can get such details by checking the background details of the attorney. Know the kind of cases they have handled, and how successful they were. The success rate (and reviews) will let you know how good the attorney is. However, be careful to get your information from reputable sites, so you don’t end up being conned.

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