What Do I Need to Know About Probate Court?

signing probate court documents

When you’re named the executor of an estate, you may not know the full extent of your responsibilities. However, understanding what you are expected to do is vital to making the process as simple as possible. Being named an executor is a significant responsibility, as you are the person the deceased has entrusted to ensure their final wishes are honored. This includes going to probate court to ensure the validity of their will. If you’re about to enter the probate process, you’ll want to keep reading to know what to expect. You’ll also learn how Putnam County probate attorneys can help guide you through the procedure.

What Is Probate Court?

Probate court is a subsection of your state’s judicial system used to oversee the distribution of the deceased’s estate. They have a number of responsibilities, including validating the will, naming the executor, and ensuring that the estate is settled according to the wishes of your loved one.

In general, most will go through the probate process. Unless your assets are located in an outside tool, such as a living trust fund, your will needs to be verified by the court. If there is no will, the person’s estate will enter intestate, which is when a person passes away without a will.

The court must abide by state and local laws when overseeing the distribution of an estate.

What Happens During the Process?

You can begin the probate process by submitting a copy of the deceased’s death certificate and the will. If there is an executor named, the court will honor that person.

If there is no will, the process is much more extensive. The court will still appoint an executor for the deceased’s estate, typically one of the estate’s heirs in New York.

There are traditionally two hearings that occur during probate. The first hearing, if there is a will, assesses the validity of the estate plan, ensures that taxes and debts are paid, and guarantees that the beneficiaries are contacted. If there is no will, the court will outline the state’s intestate succession laws to ensure the estate is distributed according to the statutes.

The second hearing is necessary after the estate is settled. The court confirms that the beneficiaries have received their portion of the assets and that any debts have been paid. Once this is determined, the estate is closed out, and the probate process is completed.

Can a Lawyer Help Me?

Unfortunately, many probate cases are complex, especially when the estate is extensive. If you’re struggling to navigate the process, you’ll want to enlist the help of an experienced attorney.

At the Office of Andres D. Gil, we have the experience to help guide you through the probate process. If you have any issues or questions, we can provide you with the necessary legal advice to make the process as simple as possible.

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