Probate is a court process of evaluating the assets of an estate, paying final bills and distributing any estate assets to beneficiaries. I am Richard A. Sarner of Zeldes, Needle & Cooper, P.C., and if you have been named an executor or administrator of an estate in Connecticut or New York, I can provide knowledgeable guidance as you take on this important legal role.
I have more than 25 years of experience in estate planning and probate. Whether your loved one had an extensive estate plan or died without a will, I can advise and counsel you during this difficult time.
Contact me to schedule an appointment about my probate services in Stamford, Connecticut, and New York City.
Probate is required whenever someone dies with property held in his or her individual name. The estates of most people are subject to probate, unless they set up certain trusts and other instruments in advance as part of an estate plan. In most cases requiring probate, the deceased person had a legal will, and the terms of that largely will determine how their assets will be distributed.
When someone passes away without a valid will, his or her estate is handled through a process called intestacy. In that case, state probate law determines who receives assets.
Sometimes it is unclear if the deceased person had a legally valid will. In these circumstances, a will contest may arise.
I have extensive experience with all types of probate in both Connecticut and New York. I can assist you in carrying out your legal duties during estate or trust administration, and I can represent you in probate litigation.
Of course, probate is a long and costly process that many people wish to avoid, and it largely can be eliminated with careful planning. I have extensive experience creating comprehensive estate plans that protect clients’ assets. I assist clients with asset protection, wealth transfers, insurance planning, retirement planning, elder law and Medicaid planning, and a variety of trusts.
I am AV Peer Review Rated* through Martindale-Hubbell and listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.™ I lecture widely on estate planning and am the co-author of two books on the topic. I am a member of WealthCounsel and the Wealth Strategies Collaborative®.