After the death of a beloved family member, many people find that just a few days beyond that funeral or celebration of life, Probate awaits. If you’re not sure what Probate is, it’s the court process of proving that the Will of the person who passed away is valid, so the Estate can distribute inheritances to family and friends.
If the decedent prepared for their death with an Living Trust or Will-based Estate Plan, they’ve most likely appointed a friend or family member to handle the many tasks of managing and distributing property. If there’s no existing Will, the court will choose someone to act as the Estate’s executor or administrator.
Here are the substantial tasks an Estate Trustee must complete:
- Locating and protecting assets
- Determining the value of assets via appraisals and receipts
- Locating and identifying creditors
- Paying the Estate’s bills
- Filing the decedent’s income tax returns
- Representing the Estate during court hearings
- Distributing assets to heirs and rightful beneficiaries
As you can imagine, this is a monumental process, and even the most responsible person can take a great deal of time checking every box. Your help in gathering bank records, bills and other documents for the Estate Trustee might be a godsend, but Probate can still take months or years before beneficiaries see an inheritance.
At Vaksman Khalfin, we know the Probate process inside and out. We can save you time and money, streamlining Probate so assets are distributed as soon as possible.
Our team can also help you avoid Probate altogether, via Estate Planning. Contact us for more info.