What Factors Set The Stage For Probate To Occur In NY?
While an estate plan provides for the manner in which the assets will be distributed during life and after death, it is only those assets that have no designated beneficiary or co-ownership, or are not in a trust, that comprise a part of a decedent’s probate estate and will pass through a Will. These are the factors that set the stage for probate to occur in New York. Many believe that having a Will determines how their assets will be distributed, but that is simply not the case. It is the manner in which the assets are maintained that determines distribution.
Proper estate planning is a crucial part of financial planning, and one of the main goals of having an estate plan is to ensure that your assets will be distributed as you intend. If probate is involved, properly executed estate planning documents will ensure that probate goes as smoothly as possible. In Deer Park, New York as elsewhere, probate is the process of having the court determine the validity of a Will so that the named Estate Representative is appointed to collect and distribute assets after the death of a family member or loved one.
By working with an estate planning attorney, one may ensure that the estate assets will be distributed to the intended beneficiaries, and that probate, if necessary, will go as smoothly as possible. It is never too early to establish an estate plan, but it may be too late, setting the stage for a rocky probate or administration proceeding. You are invited to call today to get started.
What Happens During Probate Administration?
The first step in probate administration is obtaining the original Will for counsel to institute a Probate proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court of the County of decedent’s residence. It is this process that ensures that the designated Executor under the Will shall be appointed by the Court and issued Letters Testamentary that will allow this representative to collect and distribute the assets, pay last expenses and debts. With a Will, there is no question about who will represent the Estate. In most cases, the Executor has already been notified prior to a decedent’s passing about his or her role in the proceeding and further what the probate assets are.
Where there is no Will, the decedent’s estate will nevertheless need to be administered and an Estate representative named through a process called Administration. In this case, it is the New York State laws of intestacy which govern who is entitled to the assets of the estate and who may become the Administrator to collect and so distribute such property. This process is often more complicated since family members may have to be determined or found, served with Notice or a Citation and the nature and extent of the estate must be first ascertained. For assistance with probate or estate administration, call the Law Offices of Joanne Schenk McAvey, PLLC. as soon as possible.
What Are The Options For Avoiding Probate?
The first and best way to avoid probate is to work with an estate planning attorney who assesses the nature of your estate. With this knowledge, counsel may then create an estate plan that avoids probate by guiding the client to retitle assets, designate beneficiaries, name joint owners and/or create and fund a living trust. The second step would be to keep the estate plan up to date by consulting with counsel on an intermittent but regular basis. The components of any basic estate plan will consist of the Last Will and Testament, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will. When avoiding probate, in addition to joint ownership, designated beneficiaries, it is a living trust (whether or not it is an irrevocable asset protection trust or simply a revocable trust) that may be the best vehicle to achieve such a goal.
Additionally, while there are written estate planning materials offered online, most are not tailored to meet either New York State requirements or your unique circumstances. Without knowing which assets are probate assets and which are not, individuals who attempt planning on their own wind up mismanaging the estate and failing to reach their stated goals. Inevitably, a Probate or Administration proceeding will be required, which is a seven month process in Suffolk County, New York.
Remember the goal of any estate plan created by a Top Estate Planning Lawyer is to avoid the probate process and ensure the assets end up in the hands of the decedent’s intended beneficiaries.
Always consult an Estate Planning attorney. Remember it is never too early to start planning your estate, but it can be too late, so call today to get started.