When a person dies leaving property behind, one of the first things to do is to locate the person’s Last Will. The Will reflects the wishes of the deceased regarding how they want their estate distributed to their loved ones. In the will, the person must have named an executor. This person so named is charged with the responsibility of probating the estate, and this comes with several technical responsibilities. If you have recently learned that you have been named as an executor, you may now be wondering if you need to hire a probate attorney for professional assistance. The truth is there is no law that obligates you to hire an attorney, but hiring one can mean the difference between a quick efficient probate, and a slow frustrating one. The need for a probate attorney is even heightened when the estate is a complex one of immense value, and possible estate litigation. Here, a lot of formalities will be required in the court. If you live in New York and are looking for a probate attorney, the probate attorney 10001 is here to guide you.
The following are reasons why you should hire a probate attorney
- Filing legal paperwork
Probate commences by filing a petition to the probate court. Till probate is finished and the estate is closed, there will be an endless stream of legal paperwork to be done by the executor, and all are required to be done accurately. Tax return forms, estate appraisal, accounting records of administration expenses, all will be filed and presented to the court. Although there may be templates of some of these documents on the court’s website, the court advises that you seek professional assistance from an experienced probate attorney before filling out any of the forms. This is the best way to ensure all documents are properly filed.
- Estate litigation
After filing the petition to the court, your position as the executor may be objected by a family member or beneficiary of the deceased. Also, there may be reasons to object the validity of the Will due to foul play. When an interested party objects to your position or contests the Will, it leads to estate litigation. In such cases, you will require the backing of an experienced probate attorney to defend you.
- Payment of debts and taxes
Persons will likely come forward, claiming to be creditors of the estate. It is then left in your hands to verify the legitimacy of their claims, and the actual amount that is due to them. This requires legal prowess, and you would therefore require the proficiency of the probate attorney.
Also, there are state and federal estate taxes imposed on New York estates. You are required to calculate how much tax is owed by the estate. Such calculations can be quite complicated, especially given the fact that this is not your field. Any slight mistake can be catastrophic to the estate, and you may be penalized. You will also be penalized for filing and submitting tax return forms late. There is a time frame for submission, and this is why you need the skilled hands of the probate attorney working with you to ensure all loosed ends are tied up as early as possible.
- Disbursement of estate wealth to beneficiaries
After all debts and expenses have been paid, estate taxes settled, and all estate litigation have been appropriately addressed, whatever is left of the estate must then be disbursed to the intended beneficiaries of the deceased. In the absence of a will, the estate must transfer according to New York intestacy law of succession. Whatever the case, the probate attorney 10001 will help in locating these beneficiaries and filing the necessary documents to transfer ownership of wealth and property.
Handling probate requires skill, proficiency and professionalism. Any form of incompetence or fraud from you as the executor will be challenged in court, and you most probably will be fined. To avoid all unnecessary challenges and complications, contact the probate attorney 10001 New York for professional assistance.