Bloomfield Probate Lawyer
If you have been named in a will as the executor to your loved one’s estate, it is your duty to ensure the will is legally validated in probate court. This legal process of “proving” a will is called probate, and it requires many complex steps that must be fulfilled in order before a penny of the decedent’s assets can be distributed among you or any other beneficiaries or heirs. Probate administration, for this reason, is often handled by probate lawyers; it is simply too complex to handle on one’s own, particularly if the executor is still coming to terms with their loved one’s passing. If you are the executor or administrator to your loved one’s estate, the Bloomfield probate administration lawyer at The Law Office of Brian S. Karpe is here to help.
Probate Administration Requires Seven Complex Steps to be Carried Out by the Executor
- Fill a petition with the probate court.
- The court appoints the executor/administrator by way of letters of administration/testamentary, giving the executor authority to act on the estate’s behalf.
- Locate, inventory, and value assets belonging to the estate. Assets include real property, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, retirement accounts, vehicles, personal belongings, etc.
- Pay debts and taxes owed by the estate.
- Notify creditors of the probate proceeding, allowing them the time to file a claim against the estate. Notify beneficiaries for the same purpose—to file an objection or lawsuit against the will or the distribution of assets.
- Distribute estate assets to the heirs and beneficiaries.
- Give a final report to the probate court, thereby closing the estate and releasing the executor from their duties.
Why an Attorney is Necessary During Probate Administration
By working with an attorney, you ensure that (as the executor) you do not unintentionally make an error in petitioning the court, valuing assets, locating assets, or distributing assets. An attorney also helps reduce potential conflict among beneficiaries/heirs by removing the executor (who is likely also a beneficiary) from directly handling the probate process. Probate takes well over half a year in the best case scenarios. Any allegation of wrongdoing—either intentionally or by way of accidentally violating their fiduciary duty—of the executor or of other parties for coercing the testator during the creation or modification of the will can cause significant delays in the probate process and the distribution of estate assets. An attorney will ensure that all of the above steps are carried out to the T, and do their best to avoid potential conflict among creditors, beneficiaries, heirs, and the court along the way.
Call a Bloomfield Probate Lawyer Today
There is nothing glamorous, fun, or exciting about probate. During this time of grieving and loss, the loved ones of deceased testators typically prefer to avoid stressful legal processes such as probate administration. An attorney can handle every step of the probate process for you. Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our Bloomfield probate administration lawyer at The Law Office of Brian S. Karpe. Call today at 860-217-1458.