What is probate?
If you prepared a will, after your demise, the will or statement will be offered to the court in a probate proceeding. Probate is simply the court process that determines the validity of a will. Or Probate is the process that involves the approval of your will by a judge.
This process also entails the sharing of your assets, property, and all that you own to your beneficiaries after your taxes and debts must have been taken care of.
The probate process can be quite complicated depending on the nature of the will including the circumstances surrounding the will in question. Due to the complexity of the probate process, it is best you hire a good probate attorney when you have a probate case on ground.
Who are probate attorneys?
A probate attorney is simply a certified individual who provides advices and help to clients who have certain probate issues. A probate attorney is the best person to contact when faced with certain probate cases because they boast of the necessary skill and experience to help you with not just that probate issue you are faced with but in planning your estate as well.
Several people don’t see the need of finding a probate lawyer until someone dies. When this occurs, there is a mad rush to hire a probate attorney thus not allowing time to search for a probate attorney that best represent your interests.
Probate laws can be basic and easy or it can end up being complicated and confusing. All this hinges on the amount of estate planning carried out by the deceased when he or she was still alive.
Before progressing, this is the ideal time to tell you how important it is to draft a will and ensuring that you have finished as much as possible so that your family and loved ones don’t go through extra emotional trauma after your demise. It isn’t a thing we cherish, but it is the best thing you can do for your family before you depart this world.
Probate in New York
Probate proceedings differ for each city. In the city of New York, probate proceeding are undergone in the part of the court known as the “Surrogate court” in the county where you were residing before your demise.
An estate comprises of your assets, property including your possessions. The representative designated by the court is regarded as the executor. There is a legal document that validates your executor, this document is regarded as “letters testamentary.”
Estates that are valued above $30,000 must undergo the probate process when a will is present. When the estate is valued below $30,000, the court regard it as a “small estate proceeding”. An estate that lacks a will is “administered” and won’t undergo the probate process. Also, assets such as the proceeds of an insurance policy, retirement accounts such as 401k and IRA, and other accounts that has a designated beneficiary, won’t go through the probate process.
Probate Proceedings in New York
In the probate proceedings, the executor of the will or statement will file a petition in the Surrogate’s court and would tender a copy of your original will. The petition will come with some information such as date of death, the selected beneficiaries, the estate value (estimated figure), etc.
Executors or estate administrators may be paid a commission for their duty according to the estate’s value. Below are some of the responsibilities of the estate executor:
- Getting the location and creating an inventory of you entire property and moving it to the estate;
- Settling your bills and taxes
- Gathering debts owed to the estate
- Investing and properly managing your assets while the probate process is ongoing
- Sharing your property to the designated beneficiaries after all your taxes and debts must have been settled
During the probate process, the duty of the job is to make sure that your will was drafted by you not under duress but under sound health and mind condition. Probate is a very important aspect of estate planning, so it is best you are well prepared for this so you are not caught off guard.
Get a qualified probate attorney near you, New York City!