While it may be overwhelming, it can also be very beneficial for an individual to plan for what will happen after their death. This can be done through the creation of an estate plan. This plan will be administered after their death. One of the most important parts of administering an estate is probate. Probate is a process that determines whether or not a person’s last will and testament is valid. The process also determines the value of the individual’s assets, as well as their outstanding debts and taxes. After an individual passes away, the estate administration may begin, starting with probate. When an individual in Rockland County passes away, there is a possibility that they created an estate plan that must go through the probate process. It is important to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney if you are handling the estate administration process.
Filing a Will to Probate
When an individual creates an estate plan, they typically appoint an executor to handle the duties of the administration process. When the executor begins this process, they must do so by filing the deceased’s will in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where they lived. This requires the executor to provide the court with the individual’s death certificate, the probate petition, as well as other necessary documents. Once the will is filed, all beneficiaries of the estate will receive a citation that informs them where the probate will occur.
The process of probate works to determine if a will is valid. When creating a will, there are certain requirements that must be meant in order for the document to be considered legal. This requires the trustor to sign the will in the presence of witnesses when they are of sound mind and have not been coerced into doing so. If the mandatory steps are not followed, a will may be considered invalid and not pass probate. If the Surrogate’s Court determines the legality of the will, the estate administration process can move forward.
Closing an Estate
When a will passes probate, the executor may continue their responsibilities in administering the estate. This may include paying any outstanding debts, filing any taxes, handling any contests to the will, and distributing assets to their beneficiaries. When the court agrees that the executor finished all their responsibilities, the probate process may conclude and the estate can be closed.
Contact our Firm
If you have been assigned as an executor and are required to take care of an estate, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today.
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.