New York City Estate Administration Attorney
Estate Administration Attorneys in New York
When planning for your estate, it is important to discuss who will follow through with your wishes. Your vision for how assets should pass is important and it should be for the people you choose to administer your estate. Through testamentary instruments, you will declare your directions for the allocation of your assets. With so much time spent organizing your estate, the person who you choose as an executor or trustee, he or she should be ready and willing to take on this significant responsibility. With so much at stake, understanding the task you will bestow upon someone is substantial. Often times, an individual will hire an attorney to act as the executor, but one can choose a non-lawyer. If so, it is best to have an attorney guide them through the process and ensure they meet their obligation to the estate. The Levoritz Law Group has significant estate administration experience. As New York City estate administration lawyers, we understand the complexity of settling an estate. To know more about the estate administration process or to find out more about our firm’s services, contact The Levoritz Law Group.
Probate is often the first step in the estate administration process after someone passes. This process begins with offering a will for probate in Surrogate’s Court. Probate’s goal is to test the validity of a will, determine the executor, and carry out the will’s directions. The executor will file a petition for Letters of Administration. If granted, the court provides authorization for said person to carry out the wishes of the deceased.
An executor’s responsibilities
Choosing your executor is a weighty request. Not only is it difficult to discuss what will happen after you pass, the person you choose will have great responsibilities. Simply, an executor must:
- Collect assets
- Protect assets
- Pay estate taxes and debts
- Allocate assets to beneficiaries
- Provide an accounting to the court
- Close the estate
The task is substantial. The executor may have to coordinate with trustees, attorneys, accountants, financial planners and the beneficiaries themselves. The process is complicated and, if you choose a friend or family member, it is important for the executor to have legal support to ensure that they meet their obligations.
Closing an estate
After the majority of obligations are met, the executor can take steps to close the estate. These include collecting and protecting assets and paying taxes and debts. Once complete, the executor will prepare an accounting which details assets received, expenses paid and the proposed distribution of assets to beneficiaries. This accounting should be sent to the beneficiaries with a document sometimes called the Release, Receipt, and Waiver Agreement, or something similar. This document releases the executor from further liability regarding the estate. If possible, and if the beneficiaries all agree to sign the waiver, the executor may file them with the court and distribute the final distribution check. If a beneficiary chooses to not sign the waiver, it may call for the executor to formally close the estate, requesting the court’s discharge of the executor’s responsibility.
Contact a New York City estate administration attorney
The Levoritz Law Group provides effective legal services based on the depth of knowledge acquired through years of service. Estate administration is a complex, time-consuming, and document-heavy process that deserves the attention of quality legal support. If you would like an attorney to act as your executor, our firm is ready to serve. If you pick a family member or friend to act as your executor, it is important to provide them with legal support. To schedule an appointment with an experienced New York City estate administration law firm, contact The Levoritz Law Group.