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Steps to the Probate Process.
Probate process includes several steps. This will provide you with an outline of what to expect while this event is taking place.
Petition – When an original Will of the decedent is discovered by the surviving spouse or children, the probate process will begin by filing a probate petition with the probate court. When this occurs, all heirs and beneficiaries must also be notified that a court hearing will take place. If at a later point later Will is discovered by someone else or if there are allegations of the fraudulent activity, the actual Will or a Will produced under undue influence, the objection to probate will be filed with the court and this will lead to a hearing.
Notifying Creditors – New York has laws on how creditors are notified of the decedent’s death and how such creditors must go about presenting claims to the executor. The estate fiduciary has an obligation to dispute all claims, except properly owed, legally enforceable obligations.
Inventory & Valuation – All assets within the estate need to be identified and their value must be established using prescribed methods of valuation. This will be handled by the representative of the estate, Executor or Administrator.
Distribution of Assets – Once all debts have been paid, all remaining assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate or trusts will be funded. This is done according to the provisions of the Will or Revocable Trust, if there is one.
There are many tax elections that may be made by the executor in order to take advantage of various deductions and credits available to the estate.
Once everything has been distributed, the probate process is over and the estate is closed.