When a person has to administer an estate for a deceased loved one, it is often a very complicated and time-consuming process. It is because of this that it is crucial to educate yourself and be prepared if you are named as a person executor in their estate plan. When administering an estate plan, it can be beneficial to retain the services of an experienced attorney to guide you.
What is the Probate Process Like?
After a person with an estate plan passes away, the estate is usually subject to the process of probate. This is taken care of by the deceased’s executor. The process can begin by filing the deceased’s last will and testament with the Surrogate Court. After this is done, all beneficiaries of the estate will receive information regarding where the probate will take place. Throughout this process, it will be determined whether or not a will is a valid document. A will is considered a valid document when it goes through the proper legal channels to be authentic. This includes writing the document and signing it in front of witnesses. The individual must be of sound mind and not coerced into signing the document.
When a will is deemed valid, the estate administration process can continue. This requires the executor to pay off any final debts, gather the assets within the estate, and transfer all remaining properties to the rightful beneficiaries. Once the process is completed, the court can approve and close the estate.
The Trust Administration Process
When a person puts their assets in a trust for their beneficiaries, the estate plan may not be required to go through probate. If a person passes away without their assets placed in a trust, the estate administration process may be required. This is because it ensures all of the assets in the estate plan and any prior arrangements are taken care of. An experienced attorney can ensure an estate is administered properly through completing the following tasks:
- Monitor trust terms to ensure all assets are paid out on time
- Marshal assets and obtain appraisals
- Help with the sale of assets
- Help distribute assets to beneficiaries
- Formal or informal accountings
- Keep track of contingencies and other provisions
- Provide notifications to government agencies as required by law
- Negotiate with and pay creditors
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.