Wills and Probate

Wills

A will contains instructions as to how property and assets are to be distributed after the death of an individual. Creation of a will is a good idea for adults of all ages. Klose & Associates is happy to work with your family to plan your succession issues. A will can cover property distribution and contains names of people you would like to distribute this property to. The people names in the will are known as the beneficiaries. Property can include your homes, vehicles, land, benefits of insurance policies, bank accounts, boats, furniture, and investments including artwork, jewelry, etc.

Probate and Estate Administration

When a family has just suffered the loss of a loved one it is faced with hard decisions when it is most difficult to make them. Your choice of Klose & Associates to assist you in settling the estate’s affairs should add clarity, efficiency and peace of mind to the guiding the settlement of your loved one’s estate through settlement and probate proceedings. Klose & Associates works with the family to demystify New York’s sometimes difficult probate procedures, laws and rules. Only through aggressive representation and compassionate care will your family ease the tension in this difficult situation.

Why Hire a Probate Attorney?

The responsibility of who will administer the estate is usually set forth in the Last Will and Testament, and is called the executor. If you are appointed as the fiduciary (Executor/ix or Administrator) of an estate, you are under a legal obligation to settle the decedent’s estate in a timely manner, and for the benefit of those taking under the will.

A fiduciary is someone who is legally responsibility (liable) for taking care of the property of another person, for the benefit of that person. Society, the courts, and your family must trust that person to be accountable and manage the affairs in an ethical, legal and moral way. If the fiduciary fails, litigation normally results. The repercussions of mishandling the affairs or breaching that loyalty to the estate can be especially severe, and result in personal liability. Accordingly, discussing your fiduciary obligations with an attorney is one of the first topics you should familiarize yourself with. If that attorney does one thing, it should be to protect the executor from legal and financial liability.

When a person dies without a will, courts refer to that as dying “intestate.” When this happens, a fiduciary is needed to wind up the estate in accordance with the local law or statute, and is called an “administration.” During the administration, the fiduciary will allocate the property (both real and personal) following the statutory breakdowns for parents, children, uncles, and even grandparents of the decedent.

When money and death are involved, the fiduciary needs to hire competent attorneys to advise them how to allocate the assets of the estate, pay the estate’s bills and wind up the affairs of the person’s life.

Property and assets titled jointly with others, or in the name of a trust often do not pass “through the estate” and are not probated, often resulting in greater privacy and lower administrative costs. Hiring an attorney to understand the often complex lives of the decedent will often speed the distribution of those assets that do pass through the estate to the beneficiary.

Tackling the administration of the Estate should not be painful or overly burdensome if you hire an ethical attorney interested in a fair settlement of the affairs. The adverse consequences financially, legally, financially, and emotionally, too high. Contact Peter Klose to save you time, money, and stress. Klose & Associates will pull you through.