A will is a legal document that ensures a person’s wishes regarding their estate are followed after they die. Probate proves the legality of the will and allows the court to distribute the assets as they are outlined in the document. Before the deceased individual passes, they will have previously assigned someone as an executor to their estate. This person has to make sure that the proper possessions are given to the people named in the document. As an executor, they will have substantial responsibilities that require their cooperation. Executors have a big responsibility to take on and are given a lot of power.
What steps do I take to legalize a will?
Upon drafting your will, you need to take further steps to make sure it is legal in the eyes of the court. Otherwise, without a will, the court will decide how to distribute your assets. When a will is drafted, it will need to be brought to probate. This means it will become legal. The will is offered for probate at the Surrogate’s Court. If the will is accepted, it is called a testate estate. This functions to ensure the will is valid and to determine an executor for the will. The executor will then present the will to the court to have the power to carry out your wishes given to them by the order of the court. Then the court issues Letters of Testamentary.
How are my assets gathered?
Once the will is brought to probate, it can be considered valid. The executor will then need to collect all the assets that are to be distributed. They will then determine the value of the assets. Before distributing the assets to those specified as a beneficiary, the executor must pay any debts or liabilities that are outstanding. This may include paying overdue taxes or filing any necessary tax returns.
The executor will then give a copy of the will to all the benefactors listed. Before distribution, a release and refunding bond should be signed. This protects the executor in the event that any debts or overdue taxes are not found until after distribution. The distribution will then continue as outlined in the document.
The dedicated and compassionate attorneys at Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. would be happy to provide you with assistance in your case and help you protect your future when so much is on the line. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so we can assess the specific circumstances surrounding your lawsuit.