Probate of wills is the process of setting up the administration of estates in a will. It is a legal procedure that is usually handled by estate planners or probate attorneys. Probate of wills is generally the last document that an individual makes prior to the death of another individual, said a probate attorney serving in Georgia.
An estate consists of many different items including real property, cash, bank accounts, inheritances, and protected assets such as life insurance policies. The term ‘probate’ refers to the distribution of assets to beneficiaries according to the wishes of the decedent. The beneficiaries are usually those closest to the decedent who have been caring for the decedent. In most cases, there are a last will and testament which include the personal belongings of the deceased. There are various methods used to determine who gets what, including the probate of wills.
When there are no last will and testament, a person must appoint an administrator appointed by the state court. This administrator is responsible for distributing the decedent’s assets according to a distribution plan set forth in the probate order. In many states, this administrator can be another individual such as a lawyer, estate planner or probate lawyer. New York provides for its residents to appoint a living trust which is a separate legal entity from their estates.
Most people in the state of New York to appoint a personal representative such as a lawyer or an estate planner. New York also allows same-sex couples to designate one other person as their personal representative, if that person is available. Appointing an estate attorney presents some challenges to the decedent’s survivors. Because same-sex couples must file joint state tax returns and obtain a New York State Vital Estate Tax Identification Number, it may not always be possible to ensure the right person is selected for probate process. In these instances, the county court will provide the necessary instructions.
An appointed individual can choose to use either the name alone, or the name and designation of beneficiaries. Using the name alone will make it easier to liquidate the decedent’s estate because the state will recognize the individual’s social security number. The real estate custodian will issue the appropriate New York tax deed to the beneficiaries. Some common probate terminology is used to describe the assets and property transferred to the beneficiary(s).
If you want to avoid probate, you can appoint a qualified attorney who will prepare the proper will and trust documentation. The probate attorney will help you with the forms and paperwork, so you can avoid probate. When you are in the process of creating your Will, see if you can have your attorney draft the actual words for your Will before you sign it. This ensures you will have the exact wording and meaning in your Will when you die. It is important to have a qualified probate attorney draft a Will so that your family’s assets will be cared for in accordance with the state law.