What Does the Probate Process Entail?

probate stamp gavel

In its simplest terms, probate is the formal legal process that provides recognition to a will. The only way that it may be avoided is if all assets within one’s estate were transferred to a living trust or were otherwise jointly owned. Other than that, this is a process that almost all New York residents will have to undergo upon their loved ones’ unfortunate passings. Read on to discover what this process entails and how one of the seasoned Putnam County probate attorneys at The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can walk you through every step.

In New York State, what does the probate process entail?

First of all, the probate process is only made possible by your establishing of a valid and enforceable will. This is because your will accounts for all your assets within your estate and directs which beneficiaries they should be bestowed upon at the time of your unfortunate passing. It also appoints an executor to conduct your estate’s distribution; though this appointment is made official via a letters testamentary. Overall, your will serves as a guideline for the New York Surrogate’s Court to follow. This is so long as the judge approves of this guideline that you have set forth.

When getting into technicalities, it is worth mentioning that the probate process for your estate will be handled by the Surrogate’s Court in the county in which you resided up until the time of your unfortunate passing. In addition, the court may offer a small estate proceeding if you left behind assets that total below $30,000 in value. Lastly, proceeds from your insurance policy, retirement accounts, and otherwise accounts with a named beneficiary may not undergo this process.

What is the role of an executor in these proceedings?

Your appointed executor arguably takes on the biggest responsibility throughout these proceedings. This is because they must first initiate the probate process by filing a petition with the Surrogate’s Court, alongside your original will. From here, they must fulfill the following duties:

  • They must retrieve and record the assets you left behind and transfer them to the estate.
  • They must continue paying your bills and debts throughout these proceedings.
  • They must continue collecting debts owed to the estate throughout these proceedings.
  • They must continue investing and managing your assets throughout these proceedings.
  • They must distribute the assets you left behind to your desired beneficiaries.

For the aforementioned reasons alone, it is recommended that you speak with your desired executor when you still have the chance. This is so you may confirm that they are able and willing to take on this role. So with these complex legal proceedings in mind, you should retain the services of a competent Putnam County estate planning attorney from The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC. Contact our firm today.

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