It is important to understand some things about probate when you are planning your estate. You may assume that a last will can facilitate immediate asset transfers after your passing, but this is not the case. When you use a last will to state your final wishes regarding the distribution of your financial accounts and other property, the will must be admitted to probate. The heirs to the estate will not receive the probate property until after the estate has been probated and closed by the … [Read more...] about Is Probate Always Required?
Probate is a often a lengthy, challenging process that can stress out surviving loved ones. Click here to view a larger image. … [Read more...] about Avoiding Probate in New York [Infographic]
Probate is a legal process that comes into play if you die in direct personal possession of property, and if you were to use a will to facilitate the distribution of your assets upon your death. In the state of New York, probate matters are handled by the Surrogate's Court. During probate, interested parties could come forward to contest the validity of the last will. There are certain acceptable grounds that could be used to challenge a will. These would include improper execution, undue … [Read more...] about What Is Probate?
Any experienced estate planning attorney will have likely heard more questions about probate than almost any other area of the law. For whatever reason, probate is one of those legal topics that most people don’t really know much about. What little people do know is also, unfortunately, often based on misperceptions and common knowledge that is woefully misrepresentative of what the law actually is. To help you better understand probate and dispel some of the mystery surrounding it, here’s some … [Read more...] about Probate is Not as Mysterious as You Might Believe
Not all probate cases in New York involve the estate of someone who has died. Some probate cases, generally referred to as “living probate,” involve incapacitated people who are unable to care for themselves or their affairs. In such cases, it isn’t uncommon for a Surrogate’s Court—the New York version of a probate court—to appoint a guardian ad litem. In probate cases, the guardian ad litem serves a very specific purpose. Here are several questions about guardians ad litem in probate … [Read more...] about Commonly Asked Questions About Probate and the Guardian ad Litem
A few weeks ago we blogged about the death of actor James Gandolfini and how he had several interesting clauses in his will, including the naming of co-executors of his estate. In general, it’s not a good idea to name more than one executor to manage your estate after you die. While this isn’t a guarantee that your estate will run into difficulty, it can be a practical hurdle that causes delays, increased costs, and even runs the risk of causing family disputes. Here’s why having co-executors in … [Read more...] about Why You Should Probably Skip Co-Executors in New York
Anyone making a last will and testament in Rochester, New York or the Finger Lakes area has to select a person to serve as executor of the estate. Executors have a number of specific responsibilities under the law, and he/she will be the person most responsible for ensuring that the decedent’s wishes are carried out. You are never required to serve as anyone’s executor, so if someone asks you to take on this important role, there are several issues you will want to know about before you agree … [Read more...] about Serving as Executor: What You Should Know Before you Accept
Many people in New York are asked to serve as a personal representative or executor over a relative’s estate. Even if the estate is not very large, you will likely have to deal with the problem of cataloging, valuing, and distributing all the pieces of tangible personal property the relative left behind. Here are some practical tips you can use to help you with that process. Find a helper. When you create an inventory of tangible personal property, it’s always a good idea to work with … [Read more...] about Practical Steps to Help You With Tangible Personal Property Problems
They know what you want. One of the best benefits of creating an estate plan is sitting down to make choices that you know can benefit your family after you die. The choices you will have to make go far beyond deciding on inheritances, and will also include such topics as making medical decisions and choices about the kind of legacy you want to leave behind. If you don’t make such choices, you can often cause your family significant hardship by forcing them to try to determine what you would … [Read more...] about How Your Family Benefits From Your Estate Plan
Question 1: What is a probate inventory? When you serve as an executor or personal representative of an estate in New York, it is your job to perform a number of tasks. One of these tasks is to find out exactly what the decedent owned at the time of death and create a comprehensive list, known as an inventory. The inventory lists each individual piece of property, such as real estate, stocks, bank accounts, as well as debts. Question 2: Do I have to include the value? Yes. New York … [Read more...] about New York Probate Inventory: 3 Questions