Probating a will is a legal process with which a Bronx estate attorney is experienced. When an individual dies with a properly prepared will, in order for beneficiaries to receive assets as intended by the decedent, probate is needed.
Why Is Probate Necessary?
A will must be legally processed, and probate is the vehicle through which this happens, and a Bronx estate attorney may help. Through probate, assets are transferred from the decedent to beneficiaries. Probate protects heirs who may have a claim to the estate by proving the will’s validity. A valid will is written by the decedent detailing how his or her estate should be divided after death. To pass muster, the will must be properly structured. Two witnesses must attest that the maker of the will was of sound mind and that his or her signature on the will is real. In addition, the testator understood he or she was signing a will and knew what assets were involved. A testator should also know who the beneficiaries are and have a plan for distributing assets.
How Probate Begins
When the testator dies, his or her attorney files the will with the surrogate court in the county where the decedent lived. The decedent’s estate attorney also files a petition that lists: The assets mentioned in the will, the executor, names of the witnesses and beneficiaries and any relative who might contest the will.
Notification of Probate
In order for probate to proceed, a Bronx estate attorney must show the court that all relatives who might have otherwise been entitled to contest the will have been notified it is entering probate. The possible heirs are sent a document that they notarize after signing if they have no objection to probate. If the individuals do not return the form, the attorney prepares a Citation which is then served on those individuals. The court sets a date when contesters must appear before the court to state whether they object to probating the will. In addition, all parties whose names appear in the will must be given notice of probate.
Objection to the Will
If objections are voiced, the witnesses may be questioned and evidence examined by the court as it strives to establish validity. The attorney may assist with this challenge. When questions remain, the court might order a trial. If the trial establishes that the will is valid, it will enter probate. If not, a previous will may be used. The majority of wills are not contested, and the grounds on which a will is contested are limited to proving the person did not have testamentary capacity when signing.
Naming an Executor
Without objections to probate, an Executor is appointed The Executor is usually chosen by the decedent in the will. If no Executor is listed or the listed executor is not available, the court will choose someone. Once chosen, the court provides proof of the Executor’s authority within the letters testamentary.
Duties of an Executor
The Executor is charged with inventorying the assets of the estate. He or she must also deal with debt and creditors. The Executor may pos a death notice in the newspaper to provide notice of probate, enabling creditors and others to collect what is owed them. To make sure all debts are paid, the Executor evaluates debts for authenticity and, if the debts are legitimate, pays them. The Executor reviews all assets, properly cataloging them.
Once the estate’s worth is established, all administrative costs, funeral expenses, taxes and true debts are paid by the Executor. Once paid, the remaining estate is distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will.
Property Not Included in Wills
Some property is distributed to beneficiaries directly. This includes trusts and insurance policies that name a beneficiary in the policy. Others include property owned jointly with right of survivorship and financial accounts with a pay on death tag.
This depends on whether challenges to the will’s validity are resolved. Lengthy challenges may add considerable tie. Since each case differs, asking your Bronx estate attorney about probate’s duration may help. Your attorney may assist the Executor with this. In addition, creditor requests that are suspected of being invalid may lengthen the process. If assets must be sold to pay debts or taxes, this might cause delays.
Consulting a Bronx Estate Attorney
When probate is needed, calling Rogers & Rogers, Esq. at (718) 994-1640 is a good first step. This Bronx estate attorney can assist in dealing with challenges to a will and help make sure the will is probated properly. Email Evan Rogers at the following address evan(at)rogersandrogersesq.com to set up an appointment.