Sunday, August 16, 2015

Probate In A Nutshell

What happens when your estate goes into probate? Probate at its most basic level is there to do two things and that is pay off the debts that you have left behind and transfer all of your assets to your beneficiaries.

In New York, New York Surrogate's Court will oversee the probate process. Surrogate's Court in general does the following:

  • Approve the accounting for the decedents property and all of their assets
  • Makes sure to notify that the decedent has in fact passed. They inform creditors, heirs, and other relevant parties.
  • Approve the distribution of the estate and deal with some of the peripheral costs (such as taxes)
Usually, your last will and testament will specify who your representative will be. However the court may have to decide who the representative will be if any of the following issues occur:

  • You Pass away without a will in place
  • Your will does not specify who your personal representative will be
  • Your original representative as specified in your will is in no condition to act on behalf of your estate due to sickness or death
Depending on which state you are in, a notice in the Newspaper may need to be issued announcing the death of the decedent. 

At this point, once the administrative aspect of probate is complete, the estate will now need to distribute its assets to both creditors and beneficiaries. 

Creditors typically get their share based on the following order:
  • All estate administration expenses : appraisal fees, legal fees
  • Family Allowances
  • Funeral fees and expenses
  • Taxes and debt including credit cards and  mortgages
  • All other remaining claims against the estate
Whatever happens to be left after the creditors are paid off, the beneficiaries are then due for their cut.

It is certainly recommended that you retain a competent New York City Estate Planning Lawyer to help you throughout the legal process. It is important to know all of the probate essentials and how probate proceedings work. Kamilla Mishiyeva, Esq., is an estate and probate lawyer in New York catering to clients throughout the five boroughs of New York. With offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, she is always doing her duty in defending estates from claims, assisting with will contests, and dealing with all administrative aspects of probate cases.

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