Few people want to think about losing a loved one, which deters conversations about estate planning. However, knowing what to expect when someone passes is vital, especially when they have a sizeable estate to settle.
Probate is a common element in estate settling. Here are some frequently asked questions about the probate process in New York.
What is probate?
When someone with a will passes, the will needs verification to ensure its validity. Probate is the process of inspecting the will to make sure it is legal.
Which assets go through probate in New York?
Assets held only in the decedent’s name must go through probate. While a will is a helpful way to document final wishes legally, everything within it must still go through probate. This process can be overwhelming and frustrating, but it is a check and balance to ensure that a loved one’s intentions come to fruition.
How long does probate take in NY?
Each probate process is different. More complicated estates can take multiple years, but many settle in about a year.
How do you avoid probate in New York?
There are a few ways to avoid probate. For example, adding payable-on-death beneficiaries directly to assets, such as retirement accounts or life insurance policies, can bypass the probate process. Establishing a trust can also sidestep probate by transferring ownership to a trustee.
Probate is necessary to settle many, but not all, estates. Nonetheless, crafting a thorough estate plan can simplify the estate settling process and make it smoother.