Probate in New York is the process by which a Last Will and Testament is validated by the Surrogate’s Court. When a Will is admitted to probate the provisions of the document are given full force and effect. The Court then issues Letters Testamentary to the appointed Executor.
The probate process can be rather complex. One of the most important aspects is providing notice of the proceeding to the decedent’s distributees (next of kin). This is required because these individuals have a right to Object to the Will. If Objections are filed there is a Will Contest in which the validity of the Will must be determined. If the Will is found not to be valid, a decedent usually is then deemed to die intestate (without a Will) and his estate would pass to his distributees. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has published many articles regarding the Will Contest process.
There are occasions when a person creates a new Will which changes the beneficiaries from a prior Will. In these cases persons whose interests may be adversely affected by the later Will also have a right to Object to the admission to probate of the new Will. Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act §1410 entitled “Who may file Objections to probate of an alleged Will” allows for Objections to be filed by person’s whose interests are adversely affected by the probate of a Will.