When planning for an estate, close attention must be paid to the client’s intent and wishes. It is equally important that once that person passes away, competent legal counsel is retained to ensure that the deceased’s wishes are carried out. The process of doing so is typically referred to as “probate” and it takes place within the Surrogate’s Court of the county where the deceased resided at the time of death. We provide competent and compassionate counsel to executors, beneficiaries, and heirs. Guiding our clients through the process, the goal is to gather the estate’s assets and make distributions carefully and efficiently, as the deceased had hoped for when the will was first written. For a consultation with an experienced and effective probate attorney, contact the Lauterbach Law Firm.
Probate is a court-centered process of establishing the validity of a deceased person’s last will and testament. In addition, it includes determining the value of assets, satisfying leftover debt and taxes, and authorizing the executor or administrator of a will to distribute the remaining estate to the correct heirs and beneficiaries. For the most part, the executor of the will shall have many of these responsibilities on his or her shoulders. It is best to have quality legal support to ensure that the executor is able to carry out these responsibilities.
The executor of the will shall file the document with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the deceased lived. At the time of filing, the executor shall also provide the death certificate, the probate petition, and other supporting documents. The probate petition will declare the executor’s identification and a list of heirs. Once successfully filed, the heirs of the estate should receive a citation establishing the Surrogate’s Court where probate will occur, the rights of all interested parties, and the executor’s responsibilities, including filing the will and taking the authority to administer the will. Barring any issues, the executor can carry out the wishes of the testator and administer the will.
The executor’s obligation is a substantial one. If you are picking an executor or have been picked as an executor, it is important to know that some of the responsibilities include collecting and protecting assets, paying taxes and debts of the decedent, allocating assets to beneficiaries, and developing and providing a detailed accounting to the court. It is important to have legal support through this time-consuming process to ensure that everything is done properly and that the estate can be closed with no issue. Once the executor has completed his or her obligation and beneficiaries signed off on that fact, the estate can be closed.
The Lauterbach Law Firm provides effective legal services through the probate process. Whether you are the executor of an estate or a beneficiary, it is important to have quality legal support through the probate process. Our firm is ready to walk you through this significant undertaking, from beginning to end. For experienced advice or to retain a seasoned estate attorney, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm.