New York Estate Probate Lawyer
A New York Probate Attorney Discusses Estate Probate
The loss of a loved one marks the beginning of not only the grief process, but also the beginning of an Estate Probate case. Probating an estate involves submitting the decedent’s will and other estate planning documents to the court for administration. An executor may have been named in the will, or the court will appoint an administrator to do the job. The function of the executor or administrator will be to oversee the estate, collect and inventory the assets, pay the debts, and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. Often however, someone passes away without a will, or the will is determined to be invalid. The court will then step in and oversee the process according the laws of intestate succession. If you are contending with an Estate Probate, or perhaps an Inheritance Dispute or need assistance with a trust administration, speak with a New York Probate Attorney from our team for guidance.
People often assume that if a person passed away with a will in place, an Estate Probate is not necessary. This is not the case. Some assets can be directly distributed to the beneficiary if an item has been put in a living trust. Often the will itself may not be complete, and assets may have been inadvertently left out of the will. A disgruntled beneficiary may contend that the will is not valid, perhaps due to undue influence by a caretaker or family member, or that the document was not signed properly. Improper witnessing of a will is a common contention for instance.
Generally in the will, the decedent names an executor to oversee the winding up of the estate. If one was not named, the court will step in and appoint an estate administrator. Either way, the job description of this party is the same. This individual is under a fiduciary duty to ensure that all the physical assets, investments and money from the estate are accounted for. They will be responsible for paying any final bills and taxes, and will then be responsible for distributing the assets to the rightful heirs of the estate pursuant to the will, or intestate succession.
It is important that the executor take their duties seriously. Mistreatment of funds, failure to provide an accounting, or self-dealing can result in serious consequences.
You may still be reeling from your loss, and are now called upon to deal with an Estate Probate. Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC understand how upsetting this can be, and is here to help. Come in and speak to one of our skilled New York Probate Attorneys for guidance and a free consultation. Whether you are dealing with an Estate Probate matter, a trust probate, or a Will Challenge, we can lend strong legal support and advice during this difficult time. We have offices in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island, In New York City, we have locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and serve Staten Island and Westchester County as well. Call us today for an free consultation at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW.