New Jersey


New York


Probate Attorney - Administration Attorney - New Jersey and New York

Probate and Administration of Estates

What is Probate?

It is a process by which an Executor or a Personal Representative is appointed to oversee the distribution of an estate in accordance with a Will.

What is Administration?

It is a process by which an Administrator is appointed to oversee the distribution on an estate of a deceased in the absence of a Will, where the Administrator proceeds in accordance with the intestacy statutes of the state law.

Probate and Administration Practice

Kaplan Law Practice LLC. carries on an active practice in both the City of New York and in New Jersey.

The Surrogate’s Court has its own rules of practice. This is especially true in New York, where the Surrogates Courts Practice statutes add considerable complexity to the handling of estates of the deceased. As is true in most courts, the clerks of the Surrogates Court will generally assist the unrepresented navigate the labyrinth of confusing requirements. However, court clerks will provide guidance on procedural issues but may not offer legal advice.

Therefore, even uncontested estates often require the services of a competent attorney. While most of us are capable of probating simplest estates, you should nevertheless consider hiring an attorney even for simple estate situations. This is especially true when there are multiple distributes (folks having a share of the estates) or multiple executors.

Joshua Kaplan of Kaplan Law Practice has represented numerous clients at Surrogates Courts in both New York and New Jersey and is familiar with the court procedure in both states.

Unfortunately during this emotionally charged time, people are more vulnerable to unethical billing practices, exorbitant fees and contingency scenarios, which reduce the share of the estate available for the heirs. At Kaplan Law Practice, we will work with you on a fee structure that makes sense, and we will help you manage your costs. We offer flat fees, payment plans, and in some situations, reduced hourly rates.

What we do:

  1. Full Probate and Administration Matters (no case too simple, or estate too large);
  2. Guardianship Proceedings;
  3. Will Contests;
  4. Kinship Proceedings;
  5. Fiduciary Removals and Accounting


Surrogates Court- is the court having jurisdiction to hear and enforce questions concerning wills and estates. Each county in NY and NJ has one. Surrogates court procedure is unique, and focuses on streamlining the process.? To open an estate case for you deceased relative, you will need to submit a probate or administration petition to the Surrogate?s Court in the county where your relative resided before his or her death.

Executor- is someone nominated in a will to handle a distribution of an Estate. Despite the nomination, the Executor has no legal enforcement authority without a formal appointment by the Court.

Administrator--is someone who is appointed to handle a distribution of an Estate. Individuals may petition the court to be appointed as Administrators. State statutes govern who may be appointed as the Administrator. In general, close family members are generally good candidates to serve as administrators.

Both an executor and administrator represent the fiduciaries of an estate and are held accountable for their actions. Those appointed to serve as fiduciaries must take their roles very seriously or risk being removed, civilly sued or criminally prosecuted for failure or omissions.

5 Things To Know About Probate Administration

What Is Probate Administration?

If you are seeking  NJ and NYC probate administration services, you should not wait to seek help from a lawyer so that you can have a professional to guide you through every step. It involves validating the deceased’s will, appraising their assets, paying outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries. The process is overseen by a probate court, ensuring that the estate is managed and distributed according to the decedent’s wishes and the law. Many individuals find it beneficial to familiarize themselves with this process ahead of time to better prepare for the inevitable.

How Long Does Probate Administration Typically Take?

The duration of probate administration can vary widely based on several factors, such as the complexity of the estate, the clarity of the will, and any potential disputes among beneficiaries. Generally, simpler estates can be settled within a few months. However, more complicated situations, especially those involving a significant amount of assets or disputes, can extend the process to over a year or more. Engaging a knowledgeable attorney, like those at Kaplan Law Practice, LLC, can often expedite the process and navigate any challenges that arise. Having detailed documentation and current records can greatly support your case so that you can ultimately obtain a positive outcome. 

Is It Necessary To Hire An Attorney For Probate Administration?

While it’s not legally required to hire an attorney for probate administration, it’s often recommended, especially if the estate has considerable assets, multiple beneficiaries, or potential for disputes. An experienced attorney can guide executors through the legal intricacies, ensuring compliance with all NJ and NYC probate administration regulations, while also potentially saving time, reducing stress, and ensuring that the process is handled efficiently and correctly. Having a lawyer who understands probate administration can be invaluable in identifying solutions from complications that could arise. 

Can Probate Be Avoided?

There are helpful strategies to avoid going through the probate process, as a lawyer who is knowledgeable about NJ and NYC probate administration can explain. Common methods include setting up payable-on-death and transfer-on-death designations, creating joint ownership of assets, and establishing revocable living trusts. However, the effectiveness of these strategies can vary based on individual circumstances and regional laws. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney to explore the best options tailored to specific situations and goals. Implementing such strategies early can offer peace of mind and simplify matters for loved ones in the future.

What Happens If Someone Dies Without A Will?

When an individual dies without a will, they’re said to have died “intestate.” In such cases, the state’s intestacy laws dictate how the deceased’s assets will be distributed. Typically, the distribution follows a hierarchy of heirs, starting with the spouse and children, then extended family members like parents, siblings, and more distant relatives. The specifics can vary between NJ and NYC, making it essential to understand local regulations. If you have further questions, do not wait to contact a skilled and experienced lawyer who is familiar with laws surrounding NJ and NYC probate administration.

Josh Kaplan is an excellent lawyer. He carefully listens to his clients and their needs and then provides the appropriate legal solutions. I strongly recommend anybody to use his services as he is very knowledgeable, honest and discreet and gets the job done within the promised time frame.

Eric C

Joshua Kaplan came immediately to the hospital when my relative was in an accident and was very helpful in expediting necessary documents which ultimately gave me the power to save My Godmother's life as she needed emergency life saving surgery and did not have a health care power of attorney prior to this accident. Mr. Kaplan was very professional as well as very caring and extremely helpful in this very stressful situation. I would highly recommend Mr.Joshua Kaplan for his legal expertise and cannot praise him enough for all his help.


My dealings with Joshua have been nothing but pleasant and the work he did for us was complete and done in a timely manner.

He was very attentive to our company's needs and gave us 110% for the work we needed completed.


We used Josh for many things. He did my patent. Wrote it quick and very through. He also did a TM and design patent for our company. I have used other Lawer for different things and have never been more happier. Josh was alway available, called us back within a day. We highly recommend kaplan law practice.

Leonora Malakh

Josh is skillful and diligent attorney that handles estates trusts in NY and NJ. So if you are looking for a lawyer to help you and guide through the complexities of probating your estate or inheritance he is capable of delivering needed results.


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