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Do all wills need to be probated in New York?

Smithtown, NY |

If all decedents assets are held jointly does the will need to be probated?

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Attorney answers 5


If the assets will transfer automatically there is no need to probate.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Typically, the only reason to probate a Will would be if the decedent owned asset(s) in his/her name individually with no named beneficiary on the account. Assets owned with another with right of survivorship or with named beneficiary escape probate


The answer will depend on a number of factors, but the most critical are the size of the estate and whether they are jointly or separately owned as my colleagues suggest. It's best to consult with local counsel to determine whether probate is necessary in your case.

The information provided herein is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should not rely upon the information provided at this site without seeking individual advice from an attorney. No attorney-client relationship can be assumed or created by this post.



Well I am not the executor. I am the son of the decedent and his second wife is the executor which I don't have much of a relationship with and she is not giving information on her own to his children about matters of his estate.


I agree with the "NO" answers posted by the other attorneys.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


Jointly held assets pass outside of the probate process as testamentary substitutes, and do not need to be probated.

Keep in mind certain items which are not titled such as personal items may need to be probated, depending on what the Will says regarding such items.