Probate can be complicated. For more than 25 years, Michael S. Haber has been helping people to get their inheritances as quickly and easily as possible. He's ready to develop a powerful plan designed for you to get the assets you deserve as quickly as the law allows.
Probate is the process of proving to the court that the will is genuine and valid. In fact, the word "probate" comes from the Latin word meaning "to prove." In some cases, the probate proceeding is contested, meaning that somebody claims that the will should be declared to be invalid. (See our Contested Probate page). Most probate proceedings, however, are uncontested.
In an uncontested probate proceeding, we will gather the necessary information and documents quickly, and create court-required documents promptly, so that we can get the will probated in a short amount of time. By understanding the concerns of the court and being proactive, we can often anticipate issues that could otherwise impede the probate process.
Exactly how long probate will take may differ from case to case, and will depend on the issues involved, but it can be said with certainty that almost always the amount of time from the date when the probate file is complete until the court grants probate ranges from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the county in which the probate proceeding is pending. In upstate Hamilton County, which has a population of 5,000, or Schuyler County, with a population of 18,000, the court is unlikely to be clogged with probate cases (or much of anything else). The most populous counties in New York include Brooklyn, with a 2,600,000 population, Queens, with a 2,300,000 population, and Manhattan, with a population of 1,600,000. These crowded counties can be expected to be somewhat backed up.
In circumstances in which it is anticipated that probate may take quite a while (usually because certain information or documentation is not readily available), we can usually procure "preliminary letters testamentary" - meaning temporary authority while the application for probate remains pending.
From your first discussion or meeting with him, Mr. Haber will size up the situation, alert you to challenges and pitfalls, and let you know his plan to quickly achieve the result that you want. At every step of the way, you and Mr. Haber will be a team working to achieve exceptional results.
Our job is to ease the legal process, not complicate your responsibilities at a difficult time. We'll design an effective strategy from day one, and create a roadmap to quickly achieve our goals. You'll be a key part of the decision-making process from the very beginning.
The probate estate is made up of assets that are solely in the name of the person who passed away. Thus, for purposes of probate, we do not include jointly-held assets and those that have a designated beneficiary.
In rare instances, an asset (such as a bank account) may have been titled as jointly-held solely for purposes of the convenience of the owner of the asset. That is the only exception to the above rule.
An estate's assets will consist of all sorts of property - bank accounts, securities, personal property, and real property. Sometimes it may consist also of such property as life insurance policies. And in other cases, an estate asset may be a lawsuit (or potential lawsuit) in which the decedent is a party or potential party.
It is the lawyer's job to simplify the probate process, not add layers of complication. We will work to design a winning plan. There are plenty of procedural requirement in law, and we'll have to deal with them, but we'll never lose sight of the fact that our goal is not legal procedure, but, rather, substantive results
If you want to speed up the probate process, be sure to bring
with you to your first appointment with your attorney as many of the following documents as possible:
Probate work is usually done by the hour, but a variety of other approaches are also possible, including a flat rate, a payment plan, and in certain instances a percentage of the value of the estate. Over the course of many years of practicing law, Mr. Haber has helped clients achieve their goals regardless of their finances.
Payments can be done by just about any method, including credit cards.