What Is Probate? By Queens Probate Lawyer Roman Aminov
Many people are surprised to learn that even though they have a will, after they pass away, their loved ones would have to go through a court process just to receive their assets. This process, known as probate, is handled by an estate or probate attorney in the Surrogate’s Court in the county in which the decedent resided. Although probate lawyers in Queens, NY tend to get through the red tape pretty quickly at our local courts, doing it yourself is not a great option.
A probate attorney is generally engaged to prepare the necessary paperwork and file it with the court so that the judge will accept the last will of the decedent. To do so, the estate attorney will have to prepare a petition, which is a request to the court to accept the will, along with necessary affidavits. The original will has to be turned over to the court which keeps it forever along with an original death certificate.
In order for probate to go through, the court has to have jurisdiction over all of the decedent’s distributees, which are the people who would have inherited had there been no will. Clients are surprised to learn that even though they have had no contact with a child for many years, if they pass away with a will disinheriting the child, that child still has to be given a copy of the will, and is invited to court to contest the will. This is one reason why people look to avoid the whole probate process by setting up living trusts. Living trusts avoid probate by allowing the assets to pass through a family agreement, thereby saving clients families lots of time and money.
After a will is accepted to probate, the executor of the will has to marshal the assets, pay the debts, and ultimately distribute the assets to the beneficiaries of the will. This process is usually done without any court supervision, although if any party wants to challenge the actions of an executor, they can request a judicial accounting from the court.
Contributed by Roman Aminov, an award winning attorney in Flushing, Queens located at 147-17 Union Turnpike, Flushing, NY 11367. Schedule A Consultation today by calling (347) 766-2685 or visiting https://www.aminovlaw.com/.