If your loved one has recently passed away, you and your family may find yourselves dealing with the probate process. When your loved one passes on, the probate process will ensure that his or her will is valid and ready to be carried out. Generally, it is best practice to hire an experienced attorney who is ready to help you through the probate process as at times, it can become quite complicated. Before getting started, please read on to learn more about the probate process in New York State.

What is probate?

When a loved one passes, the probate process may assess the value of your loved one’s assets, satisfy any leftover debts and taxes, and give the executor or the administrator of the will specific authorization to begin distributing the remaining estate and its assets to all the corresponding beneficiaries and heirs. Probate, ultimately, is designed to ensure that the decedent’s will is carried out as he or she would have intended.

What is the probate process like?

First, the executor must file with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the deceased resided. From here, the executor will provide the court with the deceased’s death certificate, the probate petition, and any other supporting documentation the court requires. An attorney can help ensure you are prepared and have all the information you need.

A probate petition will state the executor’s identity, as well as a list of heirs and beneficiaries. Once you file the probate petition, the decedent’s estate will receive a citation establishing the Surrogate’s Court where the probate will occur, the rights of all interested parties, and the executor’s responsibilities going forward.

What is an executor responsible for?

If you are appointed the executor of an estate, you will have a lot to manage and consider. For example, executors are responsible for collecting and protecting the decedent’s assets, paying the decedent’s debts and taces, distributing assets to all heirs and beneficiaries and providing a detailed account of all said transactions with the court.

Once the executor fulfills all his or her obligations, he or she may finally close the estate. If you are appointed the executor of your loved one’s estate, you should strongly consider hiring an experienced attorney who can guide you through, every step of the way.

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

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.