In rounding up one’s estates, several things come into play, such as the probate laws of the county where the person lived or own assets, among others. You may run into complications based on these laws, creditors of the estate, or even the beneficiaries and family members of the decedent. To be on a safer side, get the guidance of a probate lawyer Long Island.
The probate lawyer Long Island is a professional lawyer with vast experience in probate matters, and will offer help and guidance to families in Long Island in settling the estate of their deceased loved ones. Of course, attorney charges must be paid but when you think about the complexities of probate and the challenges you will face when going it alone, you realize every penny is worth it.
The probate process
Probate is the legal process which takes charge of everything that will be done concerning the property left behind when someone dies. In Long Island, probate must be held in a probate court in the same county where the person owned property or lived the last days of his life. The part of the court where probate is done is called a Surrogate’s court and the steps followed in probate are as instituted by the state laws. While probate is used to refer to the legal process, it can also be used to mean the court where the process is conducted, or the distribution of assets. In most cases, the last phase of probate before the estate is declared closed is the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. This will only be done after all estate expenses, debts and bills (such as court fees, attorney charges, funeral bills) have been taken care of. However, distribution of assets will be done according to the dictates of the deceased written down in his will. In the event the last will does not meet up with the requirements of NY state laws for writing of wills, the will can no longer be used. In such cases, the estate will be declared intestate and the court will, by reason of the state laws, determine how assets are to be distributed. The court will also appoint an executor or administrator who will be in charge of handling the process.
Role of the executor or administrator in probate
The testator of a will has to name an executor in the will. Most people prefer appointing a close relative such as an adult child, a sibling, or even a trusted friend, but an executor could be any person or even a financial institution or organization. At the death of the testator, the executor initiates probate by filing a petition to the probate court.
If there is no will and a person dies without leaving any instructions in place, probate must also take place so long the estate worth’s over $30,000. The court will then take responsibility of appointing an executor or administrator of the estate and by law, the next of kin is the ideal person for that position.
Whatever the case, once you have been appointed as an executor, you are faced with the following tasks:
- Evaluating the estate of the decedent and protecting it by notifying any financial institutions that may be involved with the estate’s income.
- Opening up an account from where you’ll settle estate bills, debts, and taxes.
- Evaluate all estate debts, taxes and expenses and making due payments. You have to determine if the claims of the estate creditors are valid before settling them.
- Keep a well detailed record of all financial transactions completed, including income flow and expenses.
- Preparing and filing the decedent’s final income tax return and estate income tax, if need be.
- Preparing and filing Federal and State estate tax returns if required, as quickly as possible. There is a 90 day ultimatum for this is Long Island.
Seek guidance from a probate lawyer Long Island
The probate process, as you have clearly seen, entails so many things which may give you a hard time wrapping your head around. As an executor or beneficiary, you’ll be faced with so many complex decisions and may be at a loss the right one to make. The probate lawyer Long Island will give you the advice and counsel you need in all areas of probate including:
- Probating the will;
- Administering the estate;
- Probating the will;
- Contesting the will;
- Determining kinship and potential beneficiaries’ ties with the deceased;
- Spousal rights of elections against estates;
- Administration of a trust;
- Removing an executor if they prove incompetent or suspicious.