Saratoga Probate Lawyers
This is a difficult time for you and your family. Losing one you love is hard. We want to make these next steps as easy as possible. Learn what probate is and how it is used here. Our Saratoga probate lawyers can guide you through any questions you have regarding probate.
Probate and the Deceased’s Will
In most cases, we strongly encourage that you file with probate court as soon as you can. We understand moving right into legal action after a loved one dies is difficult, but it is necessary work. You will want to bring the deceased’s will to authenticate it. You will also be able to open probate of the estate. Be aware that you may need the death certificate with the will and the petition for probate.
We can help you through this stage. You don’t have to feel confused or alone. It is something we as knowledgeable Saratoga probate lawyers handle all the time. You can reach out for help.
If your loved one had a will, it will be authenticated at this time. You may have to schedule a hearing. If that happens, you have to let all the beneficiaries know about the hearing. All heirs need to know as well what is expected and required of them.
A hearing will allow everyone involved to have an opportunity to say yes or no to going through with probate. Some may opt out for reasons you were not aware of before a hearing. It could have to do with updated wills you don’t have yet or an issue with who was appointed the executor.
To know that the will the court has is legitimate, the court may rely on witnesses. They will look to see if there are any affidavits that were signed and by whom.
If there were no official witnesses to a will, there may be a few people who will have to swear in court that they saw the will get signed by the deceased loved one.
Executor to the Estate
During the early stages of the process, the judge will be appointing someone to be the personal representative or the executor. This person is responsible for helping make sure that this whole process goes smoothly. They are the ones in charge.
The deceased will typically appoint this person in their last will. If there is not a will, then the judge is going to appoint the next of kin to be executor. That might be a spouse or a son or daughter who is not a minor. The appointed one does not have to step up to be the executor. They can have the court choose someone else. You can let your Saratoga probate lawyers know who is or isn’t willing to be executor.
Whoever does step up to be the executor is going to get official documentation that will let them take control of the estate. These documents are called letters of administration. They state that you can move money, as well as other things you wouldn’t be able to do with the estate, if you weren’t executor.
Probate and the Estate Assets
The first thing the executor has to do is find all of the assets the loved one left behind and take control of it so that the probate process can take effect. This process can take some time and may require you to be a bit of a detective to uncover all of the assets. Sometimes your loved one has assets all over the place that you weren’t yet aware of. Again, your Saratoga probate lawyer will be able to guide you on the details of this process.
To protect the assets, you are not expected, for example, to live in their home. You just need to make sure that insurance and taxes are all paid for, as well as the mortgage, if you want to keep that house.
You are however more than able to take the items that you want to protect and put them into your possession. That might be something like a guitar collection that isn’t necessarily yours but you want to make sure it’s safe and not sitting in an empty home.
Allocating the Estate
After all of the nitty gritty is done, then you have the job of handing out the estate. You can go through the court to dole out the estate as per the wishes in the last will. You will need to sign off on each transaction as you have for all of the probate process. Your Saratoga probate lawyers will be there to help you understand this process better.
Call Our Saratoga Probate Lawyers Today
If you want someone at your side to help you who knows what they are doing, please give us a call. We want to help you get through this without struggling or feeling confused. We can help. Contact our office today!