As an executor of a will, you probably have chosen the path of working with a probate attorney in the administration of the estate through probate. As with any other legal matter, successfully working together demands effort from you and your attorney. There are basically two kinds of relationship you can have with your attorney. It’s either you hand over the probate case to the probate attorney for full representation, or decide to consult them only when you have questions or issues get out of hand. Whatever the case, the probate attorney 10022 is readily available to assist with your New York probate.
A) Full representation
This is the option taken by most executors. It helps you sleep better knowing that all the court-related tasks are being taken care of by a professional in the person of the probate attorney. Since probate is their area of expertise, they are better off handling it and avoiding mistakes. But it’s not like you as an executor should just exactly sit back with legs crossed. It remains your responsibility to take inventory of assets and secure them, pay bills and tag along with the probate attorney. But all in all, your part would be much easier to handle knowing that the more professional and legal aspects are being handled by experienced hands.
If you are paying your probate attorney by the hour, it can be beneficial and more cost-effective to you if you can still handle a few simple things yourself. By so doing, you would be paying less since the probate attorney wouldn’t spend all day handling things which perhaps you can handle yourself.
What does it take to wrap up an estate?
To wrap up an estate, a lot of sorting out needs to be done by the probate attorney and the executor. There is a need to go through all the decedent’s documents to ensure that nothing is missed. Lots of calls are required to be made to different companies or institutions that the decedent must have worked with or be affiliated to; such as insurance companies, banks, etc. You as the executor can handle most of these tasks as they do not require any form of expertise. However, it is mandatory that you and your probate lawyer are at an understanding regarding who handles what exactly, so that time and effort are not wasted on less important tasks, and more important ones are not ignored. All in all, the following tasks are necessary for wrapping up an estate:
- Collecting the death certificate and original will of the decedent
- Submitting the original copies of the above to the Surrogate’s Court
- Taking record of all assets owned by the decedent
- Valuating all assets
- Timely preparation and submission of income tax return and estate tax return forms on behalf of the decedent
- Paying bills and debts of the estate
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries/heirs and then closing the estate.
B) Hiring a lawyer for professional advice and consultation
If you do not wish to hand over the bulk of probate to a probate attorney, you can handle it yourself while obtaining only legal guidance from a probate attorney. The probate attorney, in this case, would only offer limited services in the form of advice, or clarifying salient points about probate and duties which you’re uncertain about.
It is preferable for estates with no potential estate litigation cases
Although most probate cases involve lots of paperwork, some do not involve estate litigation cases. Estate litigation arises from will contests and different forms of objections by disgruntled parties. Such cases are more prominent in large estates with extended families and heirs that are unfamiliar or unfriendly to one another. On that case, you would need a probate attorney to come in and resolve issues and give legal representation in court. But if the estate you’re administrating doesn’t pose such a threat, then you can carry out most of the activities with guidance from your probate attorney.
Why it’s important to hire a probate attorney
You may often feel that you can handle everything yourself without assistance from an attorney but the truth is there are things which you may be ignorant to as you have never done this before. Mistakes made can lead to you being accused of fraud or mismanagement, and you may even be penalized by the court. That is why before you act, you need to at least seek the professional advice of a probate attorney. Attorney fees are nothing compared to the cost you may incur trying to rectify mistakes already made. The probate attorney 10022 is ready to give you the best legal representation or consultation just as you need. Contact him today.