When you think about estate planning, you may picture the creation of legally binding documents. This is certainly part of the equation, because you have to record your final wishes in writing. At the same time, estate administration is another factor to take into consideration.
If you use a last will, the estate administrator is the executor or executrix. An executor is a male who serves this role, and an executrix is a female. You would name your executor or executrix in your last will.
After your passing, the administrator would be required to admit the will to probate. We practice law in the state of New York. In the Empire State, probate matters are handled by the Surrogate’s Court. The court supervises the estate administration process.
During probate, the court would make sure that the will is valid. Anyone who wanted to contest the validity of the will could come forward during probate, and the court would make a determination.
Final debts must be paid during probate, so the executor would be required to notify creditors. The decedent’s tax responsibilities would also be satisfied.
Ultimately, the assets that comprise the estate would be prepared for distribution to the heirs. This can involve appraisals and liquidation.
As you can see, there are many business oriented tasks that must be completed during the probate process, so the executor should have a good bit of business acumen. The executor should also have the time that it will take to handle the estate administration tasks. These are factors to take into consideration when you are naming an executor.
If you use a trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan instead of a last will, the estate administrator would be the trustee. You can name someone that you know personally to act as the trustee, but many people do not know a suitable candidate. Plus, there can be conflicts of interest.
There are professional fiduciaries that will handle trust administration tasks. Trust companies and banks offer trust administration services, and you can make sure that the trust is properly administered if you use a corporate trustee.
We have prepared a special report that puts the trust administration process under the microscope. The report is free, and you can access your copy through this website. To obtain your copy of the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Free Report on Trust Administration.
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We would be glad to answer all of your questions in person if you would like to learn more about estate administration. Our firm offers free consultations, and we invite you to contact us through this page to schedule an appointment: Smithtown NY Estate Planning Attorneys.