When a person dies, someone must administer his or her estate. This includes conducting an inventory of assets in the estate, paying any debts the deceased may have had, and distributing any remaining assets.
In most cases, administering an estate is a complex process involving courts, creditors, contracts, taxes, and heirs — Winkler Kurtz, LLP can help. Our Long Island estate administration attorneys are ready to help you with every detail, so you can arrive at a timely and cost-efficient conclusion to settling your loved one’s estate.
What is Probate?
Probate is a court-supervised legal process that determines all the steps of estate administration. The process of probate includes the following:
- Determining if there is a will, and if so, if it is valid
- Selecting an estate administrator or executor
- Finding and securing all assets in the estate
- Paying all debts and taxes owed by the estate
- Settling any disputes over the estate
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries of the estate
People often hope to avoid probate because the court imposes mandatory waiting periods that delay the transfer of inheritances and open the door for disputes to arise. Estates with a value of $30,000 or less may be able to avoid the probate process in New York State.
If you wish to quickly complete the probate process for your loved one, it is important to enlist the services of a probate attorney. Hiring an experienced estate administration attorney with specialized knowledge of the probate process will save you time and money while avoiding costly and unnecessary delays.
The Executor’s Role in Estate Administration
The executor of a will has many duties and responsibilities. Among them are:
- Locating the assets in the estate
- Determining whether the will should be probated in court
- Reaching out to the named beneficiaries in the will
- Ensuring the will is filed in probate court
- Canceling credit cards, notifying banks of the account owner’s death, and generally wrapping up the deceased’s affairs
- Continuing to make payments on behalf of the deceased, such as mortgage and insurance payments
- Resolving the deceased’s debts, which must be done prior to distributing inheritances
- Filing and paying the deceased’s final income taxes
- Distributing the remaining property as stated in the will
Due to the complex nature of the executor’s role, it is important to choose wisely to ensure that after you pass, your loved ones are well taken care of. Consult with an experienced estate administration attorney to make sure your affairs are in order.
Get Peace of Mind with an Estate Administration Attorney
With over 30 years of experience in estate administration, the attorneys at Winkler Kurtz, LLP can provide exceptional representation to individuals and families across Long Island. When you are ready to turn your estate administration concerns over to our experienced team, contact our office at 631-928-8000 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation.