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Probate in New York

Probate is the court-supervised process through which a person’s property is transferred after his or her death. Most property is subject to the probate process, and people are typically concerned with avoiding probate due to the fees that accompany the process. Typically, the process includes the court collecting the property, paying all debts owed by the estate, settling any disputes, and distributing the remainder to the estate’s heirs.

There are many reasons to create a trust, and an experienced New York estate planning attorney can help you decide whether it should be a part of your estate plan.

Recently in Probate Category

Battle Continues Over Tony-Winning Actress' Estate

Legendary actress Julie Harris' estate battle continues. This time Harris' former lawyer is claiming that the actress wasn't of sound mind when she named Francesca Rubino as co-executor of her estate.

Rubino, who may be better known by her stage name Francesca James, was Harris' caretaker before she died. As a result of being named in Harris' will, Rubino stood to inherit at least $250,000 from Harris' estate, reports Playbill.

However, Harris' former attorney alleges that the actress didn't have the mental capacity to leave a chunk of her fortune to Rubino.

5 Steps to Prepare for Probate

How should you prepare yourself for probate in New York?

Probate is the legal process of transferring property after a person's death. Usually, the terms of the transfer follow the intentions of one's will, but there are other sources that can come into play. In a nutshell, property is gathered and collected, debts are paid off, and then the rest of the assets are distributed accordingly.

It's always smart to think about how you'll want to prepare for the future. So, with that said, here are 5 steps to prepare for probate in New York:

Do You Really Need to Plan Your Estate?

Let's go back to the basics today. Do you really need your estate planned?

For many, the concept of planning an estate sounds like a bigger deal than it is. You might think you don't have enough of an estate to plan; after all, estate planning is for the wealthy, right?

You may also think that it's something that's easy to do by yourself. All you need to do is to write out your wishes on paper and go to a notary, right?

Kinkade Estate Settles Secretly, in Spirit of Love and Optimism

The estate of artist Thomas Kinkade has been settled. But what's this? There's no news on the settlement reached! It's a secret settlement, which means that details on the $66 million estate dispute are sealed.

That's no fun! After all, the dispute between the late painter's mistress and his estranged wife was an interesting one to follow, with his home up for grabs, as well as numerous works of art.

Kinkade's mistress, Amy Pinto and his estranged wife, Nanette Kinkade, have been embroiled in the estate dispute since earlier this year. The painter died in California but New Yorkers are certainly aware of his work.

Thomas Kinkade's Girlfriend Wins Right to Stay in His Calif. House

It's one of the risks involved when you are dating someone, or living with them, and you aren't married: There are no protections in place if your partner dies unexpectedly.

This is what happened to Thomas Kinkade and his live-in girlfriend of 18 months, Amy Pinto-Walsh, at the time of his death. The difference here is that there are some disputed estate documents that purportedly give the house to his girlfriend instead of his estranged wife, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Now, the California court hearing the case has given the girlfriend the right to stay in Kinkade's house with an $11,000-per-month rent.

Kinkade's wife claims ownership over all of the furnishings and artwork in the house that existed before Pinto moved in, according to the Mercury News.

So how can you ensure that your unmarried partner receives what you want him or her to get in your will?

Conor Kennedy Joins Battle Over His Mom's Estate

Mary Kennedy’s estate is back in Surrogate’s Court. This time, the burial issue has been resolved (for now) and the court is hearing the case on who will serve as administrator of the estate.

Mary and Robert Kennedy Jr.’s son, Conor Kennedy, just turned eighteen last week, reports The Associated Press. His lawyer argued that this qualified him to serve as administrator of his mother’s estate.

Zsa Zsa Gabor's Husband Becomes Her Conservator

Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband has been granted conservatorship over her affairs, reports Reuters.

The ninety-five year old actress has been in declining health for years now and the decision to grant temporary conservatorship to her husband, Prinz Frederic von Anhalt, came on Wednesday.

Kinkade's Estate Battle to Remain Public

We told you that the Kinkade estate battle wasn’t over yet. Last Friday, Thomas Kinkade’s estranged wife filed papers in court, seeking to keep the court battle private.

On Monday, a California court delivered a small victory to Kinkade’s girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, saying that the dispute would be public, reports the Associated Press. Well, at least for the time being.

Mary Kennedy's Lawyers Block RFK Jr. From Administering Estate

Mary Kennedy’s lawyers are trying to block Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from becoming the administrator of her estate, reports

Last week, the late Mary Kennedy’s former divorce lawyers filed a petition in Surrogate’s Court in Westchester County. Her lawyers allege that RFK Jr. owed them $278,000 in legal fees, according to the New York Post.

Probate Judge Sued, Asked to Sit Out of Rosa Parks Estate Battle

The battle over the estate of Rosa Parks is heating up, again. A probate judge in the case has been asked to recuse himself from the case, reports the Detroit Free Press.

On Tuesday, Judge Freddie Burton Jr. told the lawyers in the case that we would decide on the disqualification motion in 30-45 days, reports the Free Press. A recusal is when a judge formally steps down from a case, typically for reasons relating to bias, or the appearance of bias.