How to file a probate case

When an individual in New York or any other state passes away, it may be necessary for that person’s estate to go through probate. If an estate is subject to this process, a probate petition will be submitted to a court in a jurisdiction where the person lived or owned property. The petition is filed by the nominated executor(s) under the Last Will and Testament; however sometimes it can be a party that had a claim against the person who passed away.

The nominated executor will ask to be appointed as the representative for the estate. There will likely be a filing fee that must be paid at the time a petition is presented to the court. In some cases, probate documents can be submitted electronically, but a physical copy of the Will itself must typically be submitted to the court along with the Original Death Certificate.

The executor is responsible for inventorying assets and making sure that they are maintained. Executors are also responsible for making sure that all debts of the Estate are settled. Finally, this person will ensure that outstanding tax and other liabilities are paid before the case can be closed. It is recommended that the nominated executor hires an attorney to guide them through the probate process as it can be complicated.

Ideally, individuals will engage in estate planning to protect family and assets during their lifetimes and after they pass. An attorney may be able to help a person create a will, trust or other documents that help meet that individual’s goals. If a person already has an estate plan, an attorney may be able to review it to ensure that documents have been executed properly. This may reduce the chances of a legal challenge in the future.

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