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What are the basics of New York state probate law?

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Quick Answer

For New York state probate law, the deceased's will is filed with the probate court, and after any issues are addressed, the judge grants letters testamentary, according to attorney Rudolf J. Karvay. Individuals disputing the validity of a will can contest it.

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Full Answer

A New York state will is valid if it is witnessed before two individuals. The person making the will must be competent to do so of his own free will and not under any undue influence. If a person believes a will filed in probate court is not valid, he may contest the will by filing objections with the probate court, states Karvay.

Letters testamentary is the document that gives authority to the executor to administer the estate. The executor is responsible for finding and documenting property of the decedent. The property needs to be appraised to determine its exact value and any debts and taxes need to be paid for the property to be distributed as the will directs, explains Karvay. Probate can be a simple process when all parties are in agreement of the terms of the will. Surrogate's Court charges probate filing fees, but those fees are based on the gross value of the estate.

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