During your lifetime, you should seek ways to plan for your estate. As you become older, this can become important. You may have children that you want to leave your estate to. By going through this process, you can include your children as beneficiaries to receive aspects of your estate. This can give them sentimental items or property that can be valuable to them. By planning for your estate, you can retain control over your assets once you pass. Probate is the process that documents go through to prove they are valid. The probate process involves the validation of legal matters regarding a deceased person’s estate administration plans. After you pass, your family will not have to worry about dealing with the distribution of your possessions. Instead, you will be preparing everything for them, which can help ease their emotional situation and relieve some stress from the experience.

What documents go through probate?

A will is one document that goes through the probate process. It goes through this process to prove that it is valid for the estate administration process. When a will is created, they will state who they want their possessions to go to. They can also choose an executor of their will. The executor is in charge of ensuring that the proper possessions are given to the right people as is outlined in the document. Executors will have substantial responsibilities that require their cooperation during the process of this administration. Beneficiaries of a will are the individuals who are named in the document to receive an asset from the deceased person. If the individual who created the will was not healthy or lucid enough to decide the terms of the will, it may not be considered valid. Upon laying out the will, the individual will have to sign it and have two witnesses present to ensure the state of mind of the individual.

What’s the difference between testate and intestate?

When someone dies in testate, it means that they died with a valid will. The will has gotten the proper documentation and the Surrogate Court will oversee the probate of the will. Since the will has gone through the proper probate process, it proves that the will is valid and is a formal legal document. If a will is contested, it can be sent to the Superior Court to have more decisions made. When an individual dies without a will, it means they died intestate. A representative may be appointed by the state to oversee the administration of the estate. This person may be the closest living relative. Certain family members, such as a living spouse or children, may be entitled to the estate.

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.