When a person makes a will in New York or another state, they commonly name an executor to carry out probate. Opening probate even when it isn’t required can be beneficial because it settles the estate debt and reduces the time a creditor has to file claims. Several steps must be taken to open probate in the correct state court.
The reading of the will is commonly the first step of probate court if the deceased left a will. A deceased person’s will may include bequest distribution, beneficiaries of personal assets, guardians of minor children and executor. Many people make two copies of the will. One copy goes to the probate lawyer, and the original will be stored in a safe place.
A complete list of fiduciaries should be made including the personal representative, the trustee accounts when applicable and the guardian of minor children. The list should also include the deceased person’s name and any names they went by, birth date Social Security number, mailing address, email address, home phone, cellphone and work phone numbers. If a beneficiary is deceased, a death certificate will need to be filed with the probate court.
Any important papers or documents the deceased had need to be located, and a full list should be made of what the deceased owned. Some of these papers may include insurance, stocks and bonds, car titles, boat titles and property deeds. The assets should be properly titled and the value notated. Probate also requires the deceased’s past three years of tax returns as well as a full list of liabilities, such as property taxes, utilities, cellphone bills, credit card bills and mortgages.
Sometimes, the person did not leave a will or left too many confusing documents. In these cases, it is recommended to seek the help of a probate and estate administration lawyer.