You may be in possession of the Last Will and Testament of a family member or a close friend.
Probate is the name of the process of getting the Last Will and Testament before the Court so that the person who is named as Executor can be appointed by the Surrogate and become qualified to follow the instructions set down in that Last Will and Testament.
Generally speaking, if the named Executor is an adult and has never been convicted of a felony, he or she can qualify as the Executor if the Will has been properly executed and preserved.
The job of a Bronx probate attorney is to establish the validity of the Last Will and Testament and to prepare and file all of the papers necessary, make sure that the Court has jurisdiction over all distributes and legatees and prove the Will before the Court. We follow through right to the end of the process and even offer the client a free Last Will and Testament at the conclusion of every Probate or Administration proceeding.
If the person had died without leaving a Last Will and Testament the process of getting a client appointed the fiduciary, or Administrator, is called a Proceeding for Administration. In our opinion it is better to know who will receive your possessions than to trust the laws of the State of New York. This is important because you may not want one of your children to receive the same as the others or you may wish a person to receive a bequest who would not be entitled to money if there was no Will. Likewise you may wish to leave money to a charity including a Church or Cancer Society.
The laws of the State of New York determine who has the ability to qualify as the fiduciary. The law also sets forth the commissions, or fees that the Executor or Administrator may collect at the conclusion of the Probate or Administration process.
Another difference is that the Administrator may be required to file a Bond. This is security that the Administrator will not do something illegal or unethical and deplete the estate so that there is no money for the heirs of the decedent. Outside of New York City, the Surrogate Court almost always requires a Bond be purchased by the Administrator. In the Bronx if all parties consent to the waiving of the Bond, the attorney can often get the Court to eliminate the Bond requirements.
HERE AT Evan Rogers Law, PC, WE DO NOT CHARGE FOR CONSULTATIONS IN MATTERS PERTAINING TO ESTATES. WE CAN ANSWER ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS REGARDING THE PROCESS OF PROBATE OR ADMINISTRATION AND WALK YOU THROUGH ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE BEFORE ENTERING INTO A RETAINER AGREEMENT.
After being appointed, the job of the Executor or Administrator is to gather the assets, open an estate account at a bank, pay the last debts of the decedent and obtain consents of the heirs to the proposed settlement of the estate. Once Releases have been obtained from everyone the attorney will have the Release of Bond filed and the heirs will be paid their inheritances.
Sometimes there is not Agreement as to who should be the Administrator or other matters. In that case we will be representing you to protect your interest as the case may be.
Obviously, the longer a matter remains in litigation, the less there is for the heirs to receive so it is important to have an experienced Bronx probate attorney to advise you as to which courses of action will yield the maximum results.
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There is much to consider when a loved one or close friend passes. Of course, the personal shock and emotions are taxing, but the business of the estate has to be dealt with. Whether you are in possession of a Will or you are unable to locate one, it is time to contact a Bronx probate attorney.
The legal authority to manage the affairs of a deceased person is granted by New York’s Surrogate’s Court. If the individual died with a will, the process is handled as a probate proceeding; where there is no will, an administration proceeding ensues. The person named as the executor of the Will or appointed by the court as the Administrator acts on behalf of the decedent’s estate to conclude all final business and distribute the assets.
In general, where a Will has been legally executed and is deemed valid, a named executor who is an adult and does not have a prior felony conviction will qualify. State laws restrict who may serve as an administrator, who is considered a fiduciary of the estate. Typically, the closest living relative is chosen.
Language in a Will may appoint an executor to serve without fee and without the necessity to post bond as security to ensure there is no malfeasance. In the case of an Administrator, a bond may be required and state statutes specify the amount of fees that may be collected at the conclusion of the proceeding.
Once appointed or approved, an administrator and executor play similar roles. Among the primary duties that must be accomplished: