Suppose a person passes away leaving behind his/her last will mentioning how his/her assets will be distributed among his/her family members. The beneficiaries will not be able to inherit the property until the Probate process gets over. Probate is the legal process of distributing the wealth of the decedent among the heirs as per his/her will. It would be easier for you to appoint a probate lawyer in Brooklyn to manage the process. The lawyer will also advise you on how to proceed if any complications arise at any moment during the procedure.
The court verifies the administration of the estate and transfers it to the beneficiaries in multiple steps. Let’s check out those various steps so that you get a clear understanding of how it works.
Get The Death Certificate And The Will
The court will ask you to submit the death certificate and the will of the deceased in order to initiate the probate process. You will most probably find the will in his/her residence with other important documents. Some people also keep it in the safety deposit box of the bank. The attorney present during the time of signing the will may have a copy as well. You will obtain the death certificate from the Health Department of the State. You can ask for an online copy too.
Take The Documents To The Right Probate Court
Each probate court has a defined area of work. First, you find the right probate court according to the location of the estate and take the documents there. If you are not sure under which probate court your estate is located, take the help of the court website of your state. For each county, the list of Surrogate’s court of that county and its corresponding area is clearly mentioned there.
Along with the death certificate, Will, you also have to carry the document in support of your identity to the clerk’s office of the court to apply for probate.
File The Petition After Consulting Probate Lawyer In Brooklyn
You have to file a petition to formally begin the probate with necessary documents. If there are multiple names in the will as beneficiaries, you must submit the consent to probate form for each of them. Along with that, you should provide witness affidavits to prove the signature of the will is genuine. This is crucial as often it is found later that somebody not happy with the distribution of assets challenges the will.
The originality of the signature proves that the deceased is completely aware of it and has made it without any force or influence of others.
To get the list of the necessary documents, you can visit the court website.
Appointment Of Executor With Probate Lawyer
The court appoints a person, typically the surviving spouse or child of the owner, as the executor of the estate with the consent of all the beneficiaries. The role of the executor is to manage the estate, clear all the outstanding payments on behalf of the owner before distributing it to the heirs.
Verify The Estate With The Help Of Probate Lawyer In Brooklyn
Sometimes it so happens that the owner purchased a piece of land or a house without informing anyone. So, the first step of the executor is to make a complete list of the wealth owned by the decedent.
Estimation Of The Estate Value
The Surrogate’s court will ask for an estimation of the entire estate. To obtain the estimation, you have to include all the assets, including real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, vehicles, business ownerships, and other financial accounts, if any.
Clear All The Dues
The court instructs to publish a notice in the leading newspaper about the person’s demise. Everybody, including his creditors, will become aware of the fact and will contact to claim their dues within a stipulated time. No creditors will be entertained beyond that time.
Apart from this, the executor has to clear the estate tax, bills and other dues till the date of demise. The probate lawyer in Brooklyn makes it ready to relieve the executor from all these complexities.
All the dues must be paid from the estate fund before it is transferred to the beneficiaries.
Distribute The Estate
After clearing all kinds of dues, the estate will be distributed to the heirs exactly the same way mentioned in the will. From then onwards, the heirs have legal authority on their inheritance.
Probate Lawyer Closes The Probate
After the beneficiaries obtain the inheritance, the role of probate gets over, and it’s time to close the process.