Through the probate process, individuals are able to plan for their estate administration in a valid way. Probate focuses on establishing the validity of an individual’s last will and testament. This is to ensure that their wishes were made freely. During the process, the value of a person’s assets will be determined. Their debts and taxes will be paid off. Once the debts are paid off, the executor will be able to carry out their main responsibility.

What is an executor of a will?

An executor is an individual who was named by the deceased person to distribute the remaining estate to the right beneficiaries. Their job is very important since they oversee the estate administration process and are directly involved. They should be doing their best to meet the guidelines described by the deceased individual and carry out their wishes. The executor may also be involved in paying off any debts or taxes that are leftover after the death of the individual.

When the individual dies, the executor of the will must file the document with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the deceased person lived. At this time of filing, the executor should provide the death certificate, the probate petition and other supporting documents. A probate petition declares the executor’s identification and a list of heirs.

When are the assets distributed to beneficiaries?

Once all the proper documents are filed with the Surrogate’s Court by the executor, the heirs of the estate should receive a citation that establishes the Surrogate’s Court where probate will occur. This citation will also include a list of the rights of all interested parties and the responsibilities that the executor must complete. When no issues are present, the executor can then carry out the wishes outlined by the testator and administer the will.

What is the role of a trust?

A trust is basically a contract between a trustee and an estate. The trustee is authorized to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable, meaning that they may or may not be changed. With each trust, there are benefits and drawbacks. Overall, trusts allow assets to pass between exchangers outside the probate process. Because of this, assets and inheritance can pass quicker.

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.