Hiring a New York City probate attorney is an important consideration when executing the Last Will and Testament of a loved one.
Typically, a Will names an executor who is charged with winding up a decedent's affairs. Usually this is a child, family member or trusted friend. Frequently, it is someone with little or no experience with the probate court process through which most estates must pass.
Acting as an executor means you will be charged with paying all taxes, debts and other claims, and distributing the net estate to heirs in accordance with a Will. There are many complexities involved that make consulting an experience attorney a very good idea. Just determining the various taxes to which the estate is exposed can require professional guidance.
In cases where no Will exists, an administrator will be appointed. An administrator is charged with distributing an estate in accordance with the laws of intestate succession. We wrote recently on our New York Probate Lawyer Blog about the need to have a Will and what happens to estates left without a Will, something known as Intestate Estates. Essentially these estates are passed to the closest known relatives in accordance with state law.
Whether acting as an executor, trustee or administrator, a person is acting as a fiduciary in the eyes of the court and is accountable for a range of responsibilities. Such responsibilities include ensuring that the assets are protected, a prohibition against self-dealing, and the duty to ensure proper accounting of assets and payments.
New York City Probate Attorney Jules Martin Haas handles all types of probate cases, including Wills, estate planning, estate settlement, advanced directives and guardianship matters. Please call me at (212) 355-2575 for a free consultation to discuss your rights.