What is the Process of Probate?

Creating an estate plan is a very important thing to do during a person’s life. Doing so allows them to prepare for what happens to their assets once their life is over. When a person dies, their plan for the estate is administered. This involves putting the individual’s last will and testament through probate. The process of probate works to determine whether or not a will is a valid document. After a life has ended, it is important to know if the individual has an estate plan with a will that must go through probate. If you are handling the estate administration process for a loved one, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney for assistance. 

Filing a Will to Probate

When an estate plan is created, the individual who made it usually appoints an executor to take care of the administration process. In order to begin the process, the executor must file the deceased’s will in the Surrogate Court within the county the individual lived. When this is done, the executor is required to provide the court with certain documents. This can include the death certificate, probate petition, and any other necessary documentation. Once the will is filed, any beneficiaries of the estate will receive notice of where probate will occur.

During the process of probate, the court will work to establish whether or not the deceased’s will is valid. This means that it must have gone through the proper channels to be created legally. The requirements for a legal will involve the individual who wrote it to sign the document while they are of sound mind in front of witnesses. This must be done on their own accord without being coerced by another party. In the event that these requirements are not met, the document may not pass probate. If the Surrogate Court deems the will as valid, the administration process can continue. 

Closing an Estate

Once a will passes through probate, the executor of the estate can continue the remaining responsibilities of the administration. This can include paying off any outstanding debts or taxes, resolve any contests to the will, and distribute the assets within the estate to the rightful beneficiaries. When the court is provided with evidence that the executor finished their job, the administration process can end and the estate can be closed.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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