What Long Island Home Sellers Can Expect During The Probate Process

The probate process, which often includes a probate property sale, can be an intimidating and overwhelming process. It’s not simple and it can take a long time.   The procedures and guidelines of probate exists for a good reason.   Ultimately, it is designed to keep the executor from making rash decisions driven by grief.  It also allows sufficient time to notify all creditors and beneficiaries and to complete all necessary financial transactions. Let’s see what Long Island  home sellers can expect during the probate process.

Length of the General Probate Process

From initiation to completion, the entire probate process can take from three months up to several years.

Probate Process Timeline

To help you understand the process, here is an overview of the typical steps and the associated timelines:


This first step, which usually takes one to two months, requires a formal notice of probate to be issued to all beneficiaries and heirs. Typically, you have up to three months after acceptance of the probate petition to notify all these interested parties.


In most cases (except where the value of the estate is minimal), you will need a probate attorney to file a petition to probate the deceased person’s estate.  Upon filing, you’ll get a court date for your first hearing.  At this hearing, the probate judge will name  the personal representative of the decedent’s estate and determine whether to grant  rights of independent or dependent administration.  The timeline for this is dependent on the Surrogate’s Court calendar.


In this next step, creditors are identified and outstanding debts and taxes are paid out of the assets of the estate.  A formal publication of notice to creditors in the local newspaper is mandatory.  If assets have to be sold in order to pay creditors, this step will take longer.


Often running concurrently with the above step, this is one of the  most time labor intensive tasks of the probate process. Assets have to be thoroughly inventoried and appraised so that the court and executor can know exactly what the estate is worth.  Depending on the size of the estate, this can take from a few weeks to several months.


Many times an estate contains property, often real estate, that must be sold for the purpose of paying creditors and/or distributing the proceeds to beneficiaries.  If  independent administration rights have been granted,  selling the property  can be handled similarly to a traditional sale.

With dependent rights, however, the process gets more complex and longer. “While you will be able to list the home and even accept an offer, you cannot complete the sale on your own. The probate court will need to approve and oversee the sale with a court confirmation hearing.”   At this hearing, “the probate judge may open the overbid process, which proceeds similarly to an auction” (HomeLight).  If this is the case, this step can take six months or more.


Usually taking a month or two, this step involves the compiling of the pertinent transactional documents concerning the estate. The purpose is to allow the court to review all the documents and make sure everything is in order and has been done according to the New York State’s legally mandated procedures. The requisite documents will include accounting forms, inventories, and appraisals.


The final part of the probate process, involves the distribution of assets to beneficiaries named in the will and the formal closing of the estate. When all the documentation is in order and approved by the court, the judge will then rule for the probate to be closed and the estate dissolved .  All court costs and professional fees are paid from the proceeds of the sale of the properties that was included in the estate.

Making the Probate Process Easier for Long Island Home Sellers

Probate real estate sales can be tedious, stressful and time consuming.   It cannot be treated as a traditional ral estate transaction because of the laws associated with the process.  In-depth knowledge  of procedures is essential in order to ensure a smooth transaction.  It requires specialized training, knowledge of court mandated timelines, required documentations, understanding of the Surrogate Court system  and professionals involved in the process.  Probate real estate sales require specialized knowledge and should  only practiced by a trained professional.

A Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist has been trained in the rules of probate sales and is able to provide interested parties with representation that benefits the estate.

If you are the personal representative or heir to an estate on Long Island that has property that needs to be liquidated,  please contact us directly to speak with a qualified Certified Probate Real Estate Agent .  For a complimentary guide, visit our probate website at :  https://www.newyorkprobatehomesales.com/kit221

  • Free eBook “The 7 Biggest Mistakes Most Administrators and Executors Make While Going Through Probate and How You Can Avoid Them”
  • Glossary Term Cheat Sheet – Your shortcut to the essentials to help you stay on point
  • Probate Timeline – Know what to expect when, boost your confidence, sleep better and avoid unwelcome surprises

To find your qualified probate agent, contact us today! (631) 357-4819

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