Close attention to the client’s wishes must be a central part of the estate planning process. When the time comes and a person passes, it is important that quality legal support is on hand to ensure that those wishes come to fruition and the integrity of the estate is preserved. This process is typically known as probate. The process of probate is generally carried out in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the testator resided at the time of death. If a person passes with a will, they are said to have passed “testate.” If not, and a person passes “intestate”, the matter is a bit more complicated. Whether you are chosen as the Executor of the will or a beneficiary of the estate, our firm is ready to help you along the way, protecting your interests and future through the probate process. Contact Zimmet Law Group, P.C.
Probate functions to determine the validity of a will. Once the court establishes that the document filed is the official Last Will and Testament, it will provide the chosen Executor the authority to take action needed to close the estate, including collecting and preserving assets, paying debts, and allocating assets. If you are chosen as the Executor, your responsibilities are complex and deserve the guidance of an experienced attorney.
The chosen Executor will file the will for probate in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the Decedent resided. Addition documents needed to properly file a will include the death certificate, probate petition with the Executor’s identification, and a list of beneficiaries. The heirs should be served with a citation establishing the court’s jurisdiction and notifying them of the Executor and his or her actions on behalf of the estate. Without issue, the Executor will carry out the wishes of the testator.
An executor’s responsibilities, simplified, include collecting and preserving assets, paying estate taxes and debts, allocating assets to beneficiaries, and providing a detailed accounting to the court. Once complete and the beneficiaries sign off that the Executor satisfied his or her fiduciary obligation, the estate can be closed.
If you are an heir and believe the will should be challenged or you face another estate or inheritance dispute, you should contact an attorney. Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced estate litigation firm ready to protect your interests and the integrity of the estate. Some reasons to challenge a will or trust include, but are not limited to:
Other reasons a person may need an estate litigation attorney during probate include accounting disputes, right of election, disputes regarding the interpretation of the will, contesting the administrator or executor of the estate.
Probate is a complicated process. Zimmet Law Group, P.C. provides effective and knowledgeable legal services to executors, administrators, heirs, and beneficiaries as they experience the probate process. If you are interested in our legal services or to know more about our firm, contact us today for a consultation.