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Canandaigua Probate Attorneys Help to Enforce Testators’ Wishes

Western New York lawyers assist executors as they resolve estate issues

Enforcing the terms of someone’s will or distributing assets according to New York’s intestacy law can present a significant challenge. Kenyon & Kenyon in Canandaigua represents executors and administrators in probate matters so that they can carry out their duties successfully and with minimal hassle. From start to finish, we provide strong guidance to clients in Ontario County and the surrounding areas who are charged with administering estates.

Thorough advisers handle a full range of vital probate tasks

In New York, estates whose asset value is lower than $30,000 can usually be settled by affidavit. However, most matters must go through the more formal system. We assist executors by creating a plan of action to probate the estate fairly and expeditiously at each stage of the process, including:

  • Filing the will — Probate is initiated by filing the will and the Petition for Probate with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the deceased individual lived. Estate distributees named in the will must be listed in the petition.
  • Transferring assets into the estate — Even when someone does not have vast holdings, transferring ownership of various assets to the estate can be arduous. Our background in this area gives us the ability to overcome obstacles and prepare the necessary authorizations so that an executor is able to gain control.
  • Locating beneficiaries — Sometimes, a will might be probated years or even decades after it was drafted. If locating heirs identified in the document proves to be a challenge, we take steps to find them and keep them apprised of the proceedings.
  • Managing accounts, taxes and other expenses — Tax and debt obligations don’t disappear just because someone has passed away. Failing to make required payments could seriously threaten the value of the estate. By advising on critical administration tasks and bringing in professional assistance when warranted, we assist executors with the opening and closing of bank accounts in addition to appraisal, inventory, recordkeeping and other management duties.
  • Completing distributions and closing the estate — When all assets are brought into the estate and any lingering disputes are dissolved, we can oversee the distribution of property to designated heirs and seek the court’s approval to close the estate and discharge you from your administrative duties.

Relying on more than 75 years of combined experience in probate and estate planning matters, our attorneys have the ability to handle the most sophisticated matters with skill and professionalism. We know that the probate process follows a time of painful emotional loss and strive to ease the stress throughout the management of the decedent’s estate.

Accomplished advocates take on disputes relating to estate matters

The stress of a probate dispute can compound the pain of losing a loved one. When disputes arise, our attorneys maintain a composed courtroom demeanor. This helps calm the emotionally charged process of challenging an invalid will or defending a valid will against erroneous claims made by unhappy beneficiaries. If you choose to preserve amiable family relationships, our attorneys can skillfully mediate disputes to reach just, equitable resolutions with your loved ones. When necessary, we assertively defend your beneficiary rights in negotiations and probate litigation.

Legal counselors explain which assets do not go through probate

Not all of a decedent’s assets are transferred to beneficiaries through the probate system. Life insurance proceeds, jointly held accounts, real estate held in joint tenancy and property that is placed in a living trust does not become part of the estate. If you are serving as an estate representative or have been named in the will, we make sure that you have a true understanding of how ownership of each asset will shift.

Contact an efficient Western New York probate lawyer for an appointment

Kenyon & Kenyon handles probate matters for Western New York clients. For a consultation, please call 585-577-7577 or contact us online.  Our office is in Canandaigua.

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Our Office
  • Canandaigua Office
    11 North Street
    Canandaigua, New York 14424
    Phone: 585-394-2068
    Fax: 585-394-5227