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85 Main Street, Kingston, New York 12402
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Trustworthy Probate Lawyers in Kingston Settle Your Loved One’s Estate

Our efficiency and attention to detail save time and expense

Most of us understand that when a loved one passes, the grief is hard to bear. But few of us really appreciate how much work might be required to settle our loved one’s estate. Depending on the size and complexity of an estate, shepherding it through probate can seem like a second job, one that you don’t have the experience to manage smoothly, especially when so much of the work can trigger tender emotions. At Cook, Kurtz & Murphy, P.C., we’re prepared to take that burden off your shoulders. For more than a century, our firm has provided probate administration services to people in the Kingston area. With professionalism and sensitivity, we manage every aspect of the probate process. Whether your loved one had a will or died intestate, we can settle the estate quickly and efficiently, saving you time, frustration and expense.

Reliable probate representation and estate administration

There are technical distinctions between probate, the process of getting court approval of the will and carrying out the testator’s instructions, and estate administration, the process of settling an estate for which there is no will. However, the term probate is applied colloquially to both situations.

If a will exists, it should name an executor who is charged with presenting the will in court and executing the instructions. Under these circumstances, our attorneys act as counsel to the executor, helping to facilitate each step of the process. In many cases, the named executor is unable to serve, so we are available to act as the executor of the estate.

When no will exists, the legal heirs appoint a representative to settle the estate. When the heirs cannot serve or cannot agree on who among them should serve, an attorney from our firm can serve as estate administrator.

Tasks required to settle a decedent’s estate

As mentioned early, there is a great deal of work to be done when settling a decedent’s estate. Whether or not a will exists, the responsible party must:

  • Locate assets and have their value appraised
  • Settle creditor claims against the estate
  • Collect debts owed to the decedent
  • Locate beneficiaries
  • Settle all federal, state and estate taxes
  • Execute deed transfers of real estate

An estate representative may also have to administer guardianships for minor children and dependent adults and mediate disputes among beneficiaries.

Other factors can further complicate the process of settling an estate. We often encounter situations where an elderly testator had not filed taxes for years, the testator was engaged in litigation with numerous claimants, or disappointed heirs challenge the decedent’s will.

If all of this seems like a daunting task, it certainly is for someone with no probate court experience, who is also emotionally involved. That’s why it’s generally best to trust your loved one’s estate to a knowledgeable probate attorney who can work efficiently and capably on your behalf.

Call our Kingston probate law firm for consultation today

At Cook, Kurtz & Murphy, P.C., we strive to provide the best possible probate counsel for our Ulster County clients. Call us to schedule a consultation at 845-943-2498 or contact us online. We are located in the Old Dutch Church neighborhood of Kingston, just one block from the Ulster County Courthouse. For your convenience, we offer weekend and evening appointments as needed.