Do I need a lawyer to probates a small estate?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2015

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2015Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I need a lawyer to probates a small estate?

My grandmother died. She had no debts. Her “estate” is that small; her only assets were a small house, car and a few stocks/bonds. I am an educated person. Can I go through the probate process myself or do I need a lawyer? Everything was left to me.

Asked on June 10, 2015 under Estate Planning, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Having a lawyer is not a requirement to open up a formal probate proceeding or for administering a small estate.

NY does have a procedure specifically designed for the administration of a small estate. However, the value of the estate cannot cannot include real estate. That having been said, you could use the small estate process for her personal property; it may save both time and money. Here is a link too a site that you will find to be of help:

As for the house, you will need to open a formal probate proceeding. For that, here is a link for further information:

After reviewing the material, you can decide as to whether or not this is something that you want to do for yourself.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption