What Does My Estate Planning Attorney do After I Pass On?

What Does My Estate Planning Attorney do After I Pass On?

After a Rochester NY estate planning attorney has met with you to prepare your will, trust or other estate planning documents, he or she will typically provide you with detailed instructions on the safekeeping of these documents, as well as how to make changes to them. He or she likely informed you to keep your will in a safe place where it would be safe from fire or other damage. Your executor may already have your will. Your Rochester NY estate planning attorney may also play several key roles after your passing.

Once your lawyer is notified of your death, he or she may provide a copy of it to your executor. Your executor will have to submit the original will to the Surrogate Court and have it established as your legitimate will. In some situations, your lawyer may meet with your beneficiaries and have a formal reading of the will in which he or she reads the contents of the will out loud to your beneficiaries. If your beneficiaries are confused about their inheritance, your previous comments are still subject to attorney/client privilege. However, sometimes people will prepare additional documents that they want their Rochester NY estate planning lawyer to read after their passing that are not made part public like a will is.

Your lawyer can also inform your family if a formal probate case will be required or not. Generally, probate estates with a value above $30,000 must be formally probated. A simplified procedure is possible for smaller estates.

While it is not a requirement, many families choose to hire the Rochester NY estate planning attorney who prepared the will and estate plan to help with them with the probate process. Many people find the probate process in New York to be complex and tiresome due to the many different legal filings and documents that are involved in this process. Many families have difficult going through this complex process while also struggling through the grieving process.

The probate process begins with filing a petition and the will with the surrogate court in the county where you resided before your passing. Your beneficiaries and heirs will have an opportunity to oppose your will before it is admitted to probate. Once the will is admitted, the executor is appointed.

The executor has several important duties to follow, including obtaining letters testamentary, identifying your probate property, creating an inventory of your property, appraising your property, notifying known creditors of your passing, notifying your heirs and beneficiaries of your passing and their appointment as the executor, paying on valid debt claims and preparing the estate income tax return. All of these steps must be completed before any property can be distributed.

With years of experience in estate planning and probate law, Ronald Axelrod is a well-respected Rochester NY estate planning attorney who can assist with these complex legal procedures. He can take all steps possible to speed up the probate process or avoid it when possible. He also assists clients to create estate plans that eliminate the need for probate. Contact him to schedule a confidential consultation to learn how he can help you.

Ronald Axelrod
Rochester NY Estate Planning Attorney