In New York, if a person did not leave a will before passing away, the probate lawyer can help the surviving family file a petition to the Surrogate’s Court anywhere in New York. The court will then start the probate process. To do this, it has to appoint an administrator who will be endowed with the power to oversee the process and distribution of assets, management the estate’s accounts, appoint guardians for minors, payment of estate debts and bills, etc.
Probate can be quite lengthy, complicated and stressful. When a person passes away in New York with or without leaving a valid last will, the estate attorney can help the living loved ones determine the actual estate heirs, pay estate creditors. If the court assigns you as an executor with fiduciary duties, you’ll most likely need the help of the probate lawyer.
Key roles of an estate planning attorney
As any estate attorney would tell you, an executor or a trustee — otherwise known as a fiduciary — is a person bestowed with the responsibility over an estate after the passing away of the owner, in most cases a loved one. Fiduciaries are put in charge of carrying out the instructions of a will or trust, and they are bound by law to carry out such instructions to the letter. Fiduciary duties are enshrined in the constitution. Fiduciaries are responsible to the beneficiaries of a deceased individual’s estate.
A fiduciary’s actions may sometimes be seen by the members of the deceased’s family as incompetent, suspicious, biased or breaching the terms of the will or probate laws. In such occasions, the members of the family may need to hire a probate lawyer and officially object to the actions of the fiduciary. An estate litigation may follow and such fiduciary would have to provide comprehensive accounting information in regards to the estate or trust’s assets. If during the estate litigation, the estate fiduciary is found to be guilty of such allegations or involved in questionable activity whatsoever, the estate attorney can legally request for the dismissal of the fiduciary and can even press criminal charges.
Estate planning attorney would help defend a Will
The estate planning attorney can also warn or advise the fiduciary that if their incompetence or fraudulent acts leads to financial loss to a trust or estate, then charges can be pressed against him and fines issued for failing to meet up with his fiduciary duties. If he fails, the New York Surrogate’s Court may then fine the fiduciary for breach of duty and would be asked to make amends to the beneficiaries and family members for the estate losses.
When a will is contested, the executor or administrator may often find himself or herself caught in the middle of two or more conflicting parties. Often these parties may hire their own attorneys and may challenge the fiduciary of negligent wrongdoings and in some cases may be charged to court to testify in a Probate Court. If you are an estate executor, administrator or trustee and you feel threatened or wrongfully accused, it is advised you obtain the legal assistance of a highly experienced and well-versed estate attorney.
Fiduciary duties may include the following:
- Determining, securing and estimating the value of all personal and estate property.
- Liquidating the assets of the estate.
- Filing all the paperwork based on the professional advice given by the estate planning attorney.
- Setting up an estate checking account to take care of estate expenses and bills.
Contact an estate planning attorney near me 10035
As you would inevitably find out, being an estate fiduciary can be a lot to handle. It even worse when as a close relative to the deceased person, you would have to learn your fiduciary roles and responsibilities while having to deal with the loss of a loved one. You’d have to reassure the beneficiaries and act as a rock, while putting yourself together to ensure the effective, smooth, quick and honest distribution of your loved one’s estate to each beneficiary and future generations of your family. This is a very delicate time in the life of your family, one that you’ll need professional and legal guidance, support and advice. Who else can offer you all these and more save an estate planning attorney near you.
Contact the Estate planning attorney near you 10035 today or book an appointment to ensure a quick and hitch free estate administration.