Few people have more than a cursory knowledge of the probate process until they find themselves involved with an estate. Even if you created your own estate plan, you likely relied on the guidance of an attorney to create your will. So, you may still be confused now that you need to administer an estate as executor or if you are a beneficiary to a large estate.
When someone dies, there are often concerns among loved ones and family members about how to handle the estate involved. Even when someone has taken the time to create a thorough and valid last will or estate plan, others within the family may not agree with the will or may find themselves unhappy about the administration of the estate.
As someone who is planning their estate and future legacy in New York, it is likely that you are familiar with payable on death accounts (POD), otherwise known as transfer on death accounts (TOD). They are generally known as a great way to go about avoiding probate on the assets contained within these accounts.
As you consider how to ensure your wishes are known clearly and your financial affairs remain secure, it is often wise to consider assigning durable financial power of attorney to a person you trust.
Drafting a last will and testament is not as simple as scribbling down a few notes on your deathbed and giving it to a trusted friend. In some cases, a handwritten "holographic will" like this could withstand a challenge in court, but an informal will is risky and ill-advised.
Probate is when property is transferred after a person passes away. This legal process has a specific set of requirements in each state. It's a formal process, and you may need to go to court.
People generally create a last will, trust or estate plan to protect their last wishes and provide for their loved ones and causes after death. Sometimes, however, the last will or estate plan ends up looking much different from what everyone in the family or the presumptive heirs expect. When that happens, there is a good chance the will will get contested and end up in New York probate court.
Being the executor of an estate is often a thankless job. The person whose estate you are handling, the testator, may have included a provision for financial compensation for your efforts. When you consider the stress, work and strain on relationships that can result from handling an estate, however, the amount may not seem like enough. Sometimes, being an executor results in no compensation whatsoever.
Have you recently found yourself in the position of executor after a loved one passed? If so, you may be wondering what exactly it is you are supposed to do. Many people find themselves in such a position. Often, they do not know what they need to do with respect to moving the decedent's will through probate. Typically, they are also dealing with the emotional turmoil that comes with losing a loved one.
Being the executor of an estate is a dubious honor. On the one hand, someone you cared for and probably respected believed that you were trustworthy and intelligent enough to handle the estate. After all, it's a complex process. On the other hand, it's a lot of work and stress, often without any kind of extra compensation. Being an executor can strain or even destroy your familial relationships, especially if people in your family don't think the last will or estate plan was fair to them.