One of the most important words in the world of Probate is the term “Distributees.” These are people who are the closest living relatives to the person who died. Distributees are people who would have the right, under New York law, to inherit a part of the deceased person’s property if the deceased person had no Last Will and Testament at the time of death. This is important, because even if any of those Distrbutees do on inherit anything under the deceased person’s Last Will and Testament, the law says they still must be given the opportunity to look at the Will and make a challenge to the Will. That’s just the way the law works and there’s nothing you can do about it.
This is one of the reasons why, sometimes, the Probate process can take a long time: because sometimes you do not even know the names of all of the Distributees, and even if you know the names, you may not know their current address. But you have to track them down anyway. That’s the law and there’s no way around it.