Estate Planning and Probate

A properly prepared estate plan balances competing needs in a manner to best reflect your goals. It can be an overwhelming process to consider on your own. We are here to help guide you every step of the way.

PLANNING
There are a variety of factors to consider before you can decide what kind of estate plan you need. The first option to consider is whether a simple will can serve your needs, or whether you need a will with a testamentary trust or a living trust. Estate plans are not exclusively for those with substantial assets. If you have loved ones in your life, you should have an estate plan in place.

It is a good idea to review your estate planning documents every five to seven years to see if your plan still makes sense, given changing circumstances. Have you married or divorced? Has your income or business grown substantially? Have you had children? These are common life changes that may signal a need to change a will or trust.

PROBATE
Probating an estate means taking the original last will and testament (and any other associated estate planning instruments) to the Surrogates Court and having it accepted as the proper will. If there is no will we can assist in having an administrator appointed .The Surrogates Court only supervises the property or estate assets that passes under the will. The Surrogates court does not supervise property that passes by beneficiary designation or by virtue of the fact that it was jointly owned. Going through probate is the process of:

• filing the last will and testament;
• advising the executor on estate administration
• filing the inventory of the estate assets;
• filing the accounting of everything that you take in and disburse in settling the estate; and
• filing the other court papers necessary to properly distribute the estate.

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