Probate is the process of validating a will in a court of law, and settling all financial and estate affairs of a deceased person after their death.
A Long Island Probate Attorney is one who, having years of formal mentoring and continued legal experience, has the expertise of rendering professional and legal advice to executors and beneficiaries of an estate on how to settle the estate affairs of a deceased.
The Long Island Probate Attorney, in his vastness in the probate laws affecting Long Island, will offer you advice and legal guidance through the probate process of the city. Probate laws are affected by the laws of each state, and therefore the probate process of two states will hardly ever be the same. Furthermore, probate of a Will only be done in a Surrogate’s Court in the same county or region where the deceased had lived or owned assets. This makes it imperative that the owner of the estate must sign his will in accordance with the laws binding that particular place in order for the will to be valid. Otherwise, such a will be declared invalid and the estate administration will be dictated according to the intestate laws of the place. Hence, you as a citizen of Long Island needs the service of the Long Island and Brooklyn Probate Attorney to direct and guide you as to what to do and what not to do, in ensuring that your desires concerning your estate are fulfilled just as you intended.
Roles of the Long Island Probate Attorney
In the presence of a Will.
The Long Island probate process can be quite complex and lengthy. But this process will likely be a less rocky ride if the deceased (decedent) had written a will before dying. In his will, there will be named an executor to manage and administer the estate, as well as beneficiaries who will inherit from the estate property. Both parties are advised to seek the services of the Long Island Probate Attorney to guide them on the legal matters that may affect their responsibility and status as executors and beneficiaries respectively. For example, the Attorney may help review the will to verify it wasn’t signed under duress or against the best intentions of the decedent. Such cases may arise if such person had been an invalid, become incapacitated or having dementia problems, and so could easily have been influenced by one or more parties into profiting them largely and unfairly out of the estate. Wills may then be contested by one or more beneficiaries when they feel cheated or displeased. In such occasions, the esteemed legal service or the Long Island Probate Attorney can never be underestimated.
There are many reasons why a Long Island Probate Attorney should be hired during the probating of a will.
When hired by an executor, the Attorney may be responsible for any of the following tasks:
- Determine if any estate taxes or outstanding debts are owed, and payments of these taxes and debts;
- Appraisal and evaluation of each and every estate asset;
- Collection and management of life insurance proceeds;
- Preparing documents required to initiate the probate process;
- Distribution of estate assets to the beneficiaries.
In the absence of a Valid Last Will
When a valid will cannot be provided during probate, then the estate is declared as “intestate”. The assets would then be distributed in accordance with the intestacy laws of Long Island — provided this is the location where the estate is situated — and your individual interest or wish will be sidelined.
In this situations, a Long Island Probate Attorney would be hired to assist the estate administrator through the probate process in the same ways as listed above. However, in this particular situation, the Probate Attorney’s actions would be strictly restricted by the intestacy laws.
To prevent your estate from going intestate and been distributed against your best interests, kindly contact a Long Island Probate Attorney today to handle all your estate affairs.