What is Probate?

What is Probate?

Probating a will means bringing an action in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the individual died to establish the validity of a decedent’s will. The probate process involves the distribution of the estate assets pursuant to the terms of the Last Will and Testament of the decedent. The probate process in New York is not a simple process. The process is designed to see to it that the wishes of the decedent are carried out. Should there be disagreements among the beneficiaries or heirs of the decedent, the probate process becomes even more difficult.

The Probate Process

The probate process involves preparation of petitions to the court. The original will need to be filed with the court as part of the probate petition. The proposed executor who is probating the will obtains from the court a return date for the probate petition. The next of kin and/or the beneficiaries to the will need to be served with the probate petition prior to the return date of the petition in court. On the return date of the petition in court individuals who seek to challenge the will can advise the judge of their position. If the will isn’t challenged, an order is submitted to the court appointing the executor

Executor’s Duties.

Once the executor is appointed he or she first gathers the assets and then liquidates them. Thereafter the executor ascertains who the creditors of the estate are and pays the creditors. Seven (7) months after probate of the will, the executor can start making distributions of assets stated in the will to the named beneficiaries. At the time beneficiaries are to receive their distributions they are usually requested to sign a receipt and release which indicates the executor has properly handled the estate proceeding and has made the appropriate distributions to the beneficiaries.

Conclusion

Attorney Elliot Schlissel

The probate process which is designed to see to it that beneficiaries in estates are treated fairly is not a simple process in the State of New York. Whether you are an executor, beneficiary or someone seeking to challenge the will it is strongly recommended you hire an estates attorney to protect your rights.

Elliot S. Schlissel has been representing executors, administrators, beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries in estate cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 3 decades. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or Elliot@sdnylaw.com

Chat Banner

Can We Help You?