Probate is a court supervised process of validating and authenticating a last Will. Usually, probate starts when the Will maker dies. The process involve locating the decedent estate properties, notifying the deceased creditors and paying off debts as well as taxes, and lastly distributing what the reminder of the estate to named beneficiaries. As opposed to popular notions, probate still takes effect whether you leave behind a Will or not. The only difference is the way it is done. Probate process in situation where the deceased has no estate document or Will is through intestacy administration.
What is involved in Probate?
Every state has its rule on how probate is administered. Also, included, most state in the US decide when probate is required and what document would be verified. Here is a general overview of a probate process:
Initiating a probate petition.
The first step to a probate process is notifying the court of the Will the decedent left behind and requesting that a hearing should be made to implement the estate document. The court on receiving the petition validate if truly the named decedent is death and then confirm is the Will is valid. Typically, the sitting judge may call for a court hearing with beneficiaries named in the document and also the heirs of decedent to be attendance.
petition to the court will be easier with the help of an estate or probate attorney, contact one closest to you today.
The hearing usually allow the beneficiaries air their opinion about the submitted estate document. Also the judge can ask questions relating the validity of the Will. Perhaps, the heirs of the decedent may object to some of the statement in the Will such as the executor or the named beneficiaries; the complains will be received. At the end of the hearing the court will determine is the estate document is the created and signed by the decedent.
Appointing an estate executor.
After the hearing, the court will appointed an executor to oversee the process of the probate. At times, the court will just stick to the already named executor as directed by the deceased in the last Will. The executor will be charged with the duty of settling the estate. To signal the start of the appointment, the executor will be issues a letter of administration to operate on behalf of the estate.
A named individual can react the appointment to act as an executor of the estate. If such is the case, the court will look to out for someone else.
Is there need for a bond?
As an act of insurance or to protect the estate as well as the beneficiaries, a bond may be signed. Bond is an insurance document that take effect in event of costly financial error committed by an estate executor. The bond will ensure that the estate and named beneficiary is protected. In New York, this document is optional. The beneficiaries and the estate executor may decide that a bond is not necessary.
Locating the decedent’s estate properties.
On appointment, locating all the deceased assets will be the first task for the executor. The executor will get a list of all estates properties belonging to the decedent. This include bank accounts, retirement and investment accounts, estate properties, personal belongings, real estate and so on. This could be a very daunting task for the executor as the deceased may have properties in several state and even close relatives having little knowledge about it. The executor must find these assets, relating documents attached to them and ensure their proper protection.
Identifying the decedent creditors.
After locating the deceased’s assets and determining their date of death, the executor will notifying the decedent’s creditor of the death. Typically, letter are sent out to listed creditors and time duration given to them to make claims on the estate properties and amount owed by the deceased. The executor will ensure that only valid claims and loans are repaid and invalid creditor claims rebuffed.
After this process, the court gives the executor to the nod to distribute the remaining estate properties to named beneficiaries.
Contact an estate planning attorney near you
Simple mistakes can ruin estate plans; as such you need an expert capable of making suitable and approbation estate plans and documents. Contact our estate planning attorney near you today, 11104, New York to guide you through the process estate plan documents.
We offer assistance, counseling in estate related issues, probate matters, family law issues, and other advance guardianship and conservatorship issues in New York.