During your lifetime, you accumulate a lot of wealth, debt, and valuables, both emotional and monetary. In order to properly ensure that your estate is properly managed and distributed, many people seek the assistance of an elder law attorney whom may oversee the drafting and execution of a Last Will and Testament and, upon your death, provide advice to the executor designated under your Will to ensure your estate is properly administered.

Do You Need a Probate?

Assets that are jointly owned or designate a named beneficiary do not require Court intervention or the need for an estate proceeding in Surrogate’s Court. If a Last Will and Testament has been executed and the Testator dies with assets titled in his or her individual name, a probate proceeding in Surrogate’s Court would be necessary for the executor designated under the Will to be appointed by the Court in order to have the proper legal authority to marshal the asset to the estate.

A Probate Without A Will

In the event that you pass without a Will in place, an elder law attorney may be engaged to work with your family for purposes of filing the appropriate Court documents for an estate representative known as an Administrator to be appointed to ensure the Estate is distributed pursuant state law.


An elder law attorney can help you decide how debts are paid off with your assets. When your debts are paid off, then the rest of your estate can be distributed amongst your heirs. In the event that your assets do not cover the full amount of your debt, your personal effects may need to be sold as collateral.

For more than 40 years, our firm has been assisting people like you with long term care and estate planning needs. We bring you the knowledge and resources to protect you and your family. Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice by articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Call 718.477.7700 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with an estate planning attorney at Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC. We proudly serve Staten Island, Brooklyn and the other boroughs of New York City.