The executor of the estate must admit the will to probate. Your property is considered to be probate property at first. After the probate process has run its course the property is distributed to the heirs to the estate.
Probate is not an inherently negative thing, but there are certain drawbacks that go along with the process. Let’s look at three of them.
Probate is an open proceeding. Court records can be accessed. Anyone who wants to know what went on during probate can access these records.
For various different reasons you may not want your final affairs to be a matter of public record.
There are some considerable expenses that can accumulate during the probate process.
The executor that you choose to handle the estate administration tasks is entitled to remuneration. Your executor will often engage the services of an accountant and a probate lawyer. Of course these professionals are going to charge for their time and expertise.
Estate liquidation expenses will be a factor, and there are filing fees that will be charged by the court. Other ad hoc expenses will invariably present themselves during the probate process.
As we stated in the opening, the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been probated. Probate does not take place in a matter of days or even weeks.
Creditors are given a certain amount of time to come forward seeking satisfaction from the estate. In some instances there are challenges to the validity of the will. The liquidation of property can be time-consuming as well.
The court is going to have a particular caseload to contend with, and this is another factor.
Depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances, it can take anywhere from perhaps nine months to multiple years for the process of probate to run its course.
Waiting for an inheritance if you don’t really need it is one thing. However, some families need immediate liquidity. This time lag can create genuine hardships in some instances.
If you are interested in arranging for the transfer of assets to your loved ones outside of the process of probate you do have options.
We would like to emphasize the fact that probate provides certain protections, and the state of New York does an excellent job streamlining the process. At the same time, you have every right to explore alternatives.
If you would like to consult with a licensed legal counsel, contact our firm to schedule a free consultation.