Acting as an executor is a huge time commitment and can be stressful for many people since they are unfamiliar with the New York Probate and Estate Laws and the probate process unless the executor is a New York Estate Attorney. During the probate process, the executor is responsible for managing the estate’s assets and distributing them to the beneficiaries so that the estate can be wound up and settled. The entire process can take as long as nine months or even longer, depending on the size of the estate and the different types of issues that may arise and need to be resolved. Since many times a testator makes the choice of who they want to act as their personal representative based upon emotional decisions and not always business decisions by choosing their spouse or another family member instead of choosing an experienced professional, having an attorney assist the executor with the probate process ensures that the executor is protected from legal and financial liability, that the proper documents are filed in a timely manner and that the beneficiary’s interests are protected.
Common Legal Matters That May Arise
There are a number of common legal matters that may arise during the course of probate that an attorney is capable of handling that the executor may not be able to handle on their own such as:
- Reviewing and preparing contracts
- Filing legal documents and appearing before a probate judge in the New York Surrogate’s Court
- Handling disputes between creditors or conflicts among beneficiaries
- Will contests
- Issues regarding minors
- Acquiring or transferring of title to personal or real property
- Tax and investment matters
- Managing the testator’s business
- Landlord-tenant matters regarding leases, collection of rents or eviction matters
- Resignation or removal of an executor
- Other financial and legal matters
Protection of Executor and Estate Assets
There are a number of formal procedures that must be taken care of in connection with the probate of a New York Estate that the attorney can discuss with the executor to avoid mistakes or mishandling of estate assets and errors in distributions. The attorney can provide the executor with a New York probate timeline checklist to follow and guide the executor through the probate process. Having an experienced and knowledgeable New York Estate Attorney working with the executor helps facilitate the New York Probate process to avoid filing and procedural errors that may result in unnecessarily delays for the beneficiaries to receive their entitled inheritances under the testator’s will. An attorney helps ensure that the winding up and distribution of estate assets is done efficiently so that the estate can be closed and distributed in accordance with the New York Probate Laws.
If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.