The loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult periods to endure. Aside from the emotional loss, heirs and next of kin may be called upon to resolve the financial, personal, and family matters of the decedent.
Payments of taxes and other expenses, probate proceedings, and the execution of the estate are part of estate administration process. To simplify the duties of an executor or trustee, these details can be managed by the experienced legal team of Futterman & Lanza, LLP.
Basically, probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies in order to legally transfer the title in assets to the beneficiaries designated in a will. The laws of intestacy also govern the process for the distribution of property where there has been no will. The law provides for the determination of who qualifies as an heir to the deceased and what portion of the assets his or her position in the family entitles them to receive. During the probate process, an executor (or administrator, if there was no will) will go through many routine tasks, such as
- Identifying and inventorying estate property
- Paying estate debts and taxes
- Distributing property as directed by a will or state law
Though probate may seem simple, in real life, the process usually is not. Often several different persons are interested in the probate estate, including: creditors, family members, beneficiaries, a surviving spouse, and the personal representative for the estate. Each has a different interest in the probate administration that is protected by New York law. In addition to the expected responsibilities, there may be other legal problems, such as relatives contesting their share of the estate, a challenge to the validity of a will or the size and types of debts included as obligations of the estate. Because of these competing interests, the steps undertaken to complete a probate administration can be lengthy, time-consuming, and costly—if done improperly.
If you are responsible for handling the probate administration of an estate, don’t take these duties lightly and expose yourself to allegations of improper handling of assets. Get assistance from a professional.
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