Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s property, known as the “estate,” is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will). The entire process, supervised by the probate court, usually takes about a year. However, substantial distributions from the estate can be made in the interim.
- The exact rules of estate administration differ from state to state. In general, they include the following steps:
- Filing the will and petition at the probate court in order to be appointed executor or personal representative. In the absence of a will, heirs must petition the court to be appointed “administrator” of the estate.
- Marshaling, or collecting, the assets.
- Paying bills and taxes.
- Filing tax returns (when necessary).
- Distributing property to the heirs
- Filing a final account with the probate court
With this in mind, do you have the time to take on these responsibilities? If you’re like most people out there juggling more than ever, the answer is Probably Not. Then consider calling us! We are on the New York State Court Appointed Fiduciary and Guardianship Services list and our Fiduciary ID is 464767.