Probate does not have to be the scary process which many people have assumed after horror stories they heard from friends or saw in the media. If there is a surviving immediate family the probate can usually be accomplished in a few weeks time. In New York, the fee for the probate is on a sliding scale, depending on the size of the estate. Sometimes the attorney can even bring what is called a small estate administration with very minimal court costs.

The main reasons to avoid probate are when there is no immediate family, where it is anticipated that a family member will contest the Will, or where the estate includes real estate located in more than one state.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting me does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Robert W. Shaw is licensed in New York.