What does an Estate Mean?
Though an estate may be a basic and common word, there are people out there who aren’t sure of what this word means. We hear the word “estate” frequently but do you really know what it means? Well, knowing what an estate means will provide you with an insight into what it means to plan an estate.
Basically, an estate means the net worth of an individual at any point in time. The individual’s net worth could comprise of his or her assets, intellectual properties, etc.
Having known what an estate is, deducing what estate planning is shouldn’t be very difficult. Estate planning are plans made in preparation for one’s death. When you die, your estate will be left behind. It is your estate plan which you made while you were alive that will dictate how your estate will be shared and managed. If you failed to plan your estate and you die, your estate will still be shared but it may be in a manner you dislike.
After your demise, your will undergoes probate. Even if you were so ignorant that you failed to plan your estate, it will still undergo this process.
What is Probate?
The probate process can be the worst nightmare of your family which is why you need to avoid it at all cost. This process is done for several reasons, one of which is to determine the validity of a will. A will undergoes probate upon the death of the estate owner.
After the death of an estate owner, it is the duty of the probate court to select an individual who will act on behalf of the asset-holder. This individual is often regarded as the estate executor. The court only have the right to select an estate executor if the asset-holder failed to write a will. The will often contain the names of the estate beneficiaries, the assets of the estate owner, and the name of the estate executor.
The duty of the estate executor is somewhat numerous. It is his or her job to administer the estate by ensuring that all unpaid debts of the deceased are settled, all required paper works are tendered to the court, the court is aware of the assets and properties of the deceased, and the estate of the deceased is managed while the probate process is ongoing.
A probate lawyer is required during the probate process. As you know, the lawyer will have to be paid. The hiring fee and court fees are settled from the estate property. After all must have been settled; that is the attorney fee, court fees, unpaid debts, taxes, etc., whatever is left is distributed to the designated beneficiaries.
How Does this Process Works?
The probate process can take several months, or even a year; and this depends on several factors. For instance, if the deceased owned properties overseas, the probate process is likely to take more time.
The probate process works in a simple way. After your death, your will undergoes the probate process. As stated, the aim of this process is to approve the designated estate executor or select one in case you didn’t do that, to determine the validity of your will, among others.
Every state has certain laws that determines what is needed for the probate process. It is the duty of your probate attorney to fill you in on these laws so you understand the requirements.
Until the probate process is finished, the assets of the deceased cannot be sold or transferred to the designated beneficiaries. During this process, the properties of the deceased are reviewed, all unpaid debts are settled and the remaining assets are shared based on the wish of the deceased which is stated in his or her will.
Probate Attorney New York City
The probate process can be quite difficult which is why you need the help of an expert like a probate attorney New York. A competent probate attorney can make the probate process seem easy. You can contact us if you need one.