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Rudolf J. Karvay

New York Probate Attorney


Probate • Administration • Estate Litigation • Tax • Kinship Hearings

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The passing of someone you care about is undoubtedly emotionally challenging and dealing with the intricacies associated with his/her estate is often a demanding endeavor. There are numerous legal procedures involved with the administration and division of the property of an estate.

Before an Executor is officially appointed, papers have to be submitted in the Surrogate's Court. Executors are faced with the burden of learning the intricate legal procedures involved. With 20 years of experience, I understand how to hasten the process of estate administration. As a New York probate attorney I am focused on steering those faced with fiduciary responsibilities through this process smoothly and successfully.

We Represent Local and Out of State

Executors and Administrators

Flat Fee Arrangements Available

Probate - Last Will and Testament

Probate in New York is the method by which a Will is established to the Surrogate’s Court to be the legitimate Last Will and Testament of the decedent. Jurisdiction is acquired over all interested persons who are provided a chance to oppose the Will before its admission to Probate and the individual designated in the Will as Executor is appointed to carry out the wishes of the decedent.

In New York a Will only has to undergo Probate if the assets of the estate are valued at $30,000 or more. If the decedent died without a Will, an Administration proceeding should be filed instead of a Probate.  Flat fee probate arrangements available.

Administration - Intestate Proceeding

Administration is the procedure whereby Letters are issued to an eligible distributee of the decedent who died without having a Will.  Letters is the name for a legal document entrusting a person with the administration of the estate of a decedent.

In the absence of a Will, New York State law establishes the rules for the distribution of a decedent's estate. For that reason, a determination has to be made concerning who are and who are not distributees. Upon completion of the Administration process, the court names an Administrator having identical authority and rights as an Executor. Flat fee administration arrangements available.

Estate Litigation




The probate process and estate administration ought to advance smoothly and without problems, provided that the goals of a decedent are plainly expressed and legally sound. But the process could be delayed and lead to discord and litigation in a variety of situations.

As a New York estate litigation attorney I have the practical experience to help with these significant personal and financial matters. I recognize that great aggravation can come about from the process and I go out of my way to lead you through every phase of the process. I have litigated a wide array of problems that arise in will and trust disputes, accounting proceedings as well as other estate litigation matters.

Estate and Trust Accounting Issues

Prior to the conclusion of the administration of an estate or trust, the fiduciary has to Account for his or her actions to the beneficiaries. The accounting could be as informal as a straightforward exchange of information or a formal court proceeding, dependant on the situation involved with a given estate or trust. These issues frequently call for legal representation to have the matter brought to a successful resolution.

With twenty years of practical experience I have produced and defended accountings for my clients throughout the New York Metropolitan region. Whether you are a fiduciary of an estate or a trustee needing to produce an accounting or if you are a beneficiary of a will or trust and you believe you are entitled to an accounting, as a New York probate attorney I will help you. My mission is to safeguard the rights of beneficiaries and to assist fiduciaries in performing their obligations.

Kinship Hearings - Establishing Heirship

When your nephew, niece or cousin dies without a Will, you may have a special circumstance known as a "kinship" case. Although aunts, uncles and cousins can certainly inherit, they must initially prove their relationship to the decedent via a "kinship proceeding." In New York, these particular estates are managed by the Public Administrator. Typically, the Public Administrator administers the Estate and files an Accounting with the Surrogate's Court. As part of the Accounting process, the Public Administrator asks the Court to ascertain who are the rightful heirs in a kinship hearing.  

Having represented the Public Administrator for over ten years, I am highly experienced in kinship matters and I‘m prepared to accept most kinship cases on a contingency fee basis. Although fees vary based upon the complexity of the case, I often charge significantly less than the one-third that genealogy search companies generally take. If you have a claim as an aunt, uncle or cousin, call us for a free consultation.

Estate Tax - Federal and New York State Returns

When someone dies, estate taxes may come due, and they can take a considerable chunk from the value of the estate. The counsel of an experienced estate tax attorney will assist you to control the estate tax burden. The laws on Estate and Gift Taxes are viewed to be among the most challenging in the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS, itself, strongly suggests that you visit with an estate tax practitioner who has considerable expertise in this field.

I can help keep the estate's tax liability at a manageable level, prepare all tax returns and make sure everything is filed on time.

Probate Attorney of New York

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NY Probate Process

Probate Blog

Intestate Administration

Estate Litigation

Estate Tax

Kinship Hearings

Executor's Guide

Estate Debts

Executor Fees / Commissions

Court Directory

Public Administrators

Contact Information

Main Office:

100 Garden City Plaza, Suite 300

Garden City, NY 11530

(516) 780-0281

(631) 944-8034

(718) 360-9014


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Author: Rudolf J. Karvay

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