Probate is an essential process that occurs after a death, beginning when an individual requests a court to open a case. In addition, the probate court is only the overseer of the probate process in Manhattan. Every step from initiating proceedings, to cataloging assets, to administering to the estate is the responsibility of the executor.
Understanding the probate process in Manhattan is essential for executors and beneficiaries alike. Having comprehensive knowledge about this process helps people to comprehend their obligations under the law and to stand up for their legal rights every step of the way. A knowledgeable probate attorney could help you understand your role in this process.
Initiating Probate and Empowering an Executor
Probate can begin at any point after a person’s death. However, probate never automatically starts. The law says that any party may submit a petition to the probate court to initiate the process. Under Kansas Statute § 59-2219, a petition for administration must include information concerning the decedent, the heirs, the decedent’s assets, the potential executor, and the version of probate under which the filer is seeking to pursue probate.
This petition may also include a nomination for an executor of an estate. In general, any person over the age of 18 may be an executor. However, the probate court will have the final word in empowering these people to serve in these vital roles.
The Role of the Executor
The executor of an estate has multiple duties under the law. The executor will receive letters testamentary from the court according to KS Statute § 59-2227. These letters grant the executor legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. Other steps that the executor usually must take at the start of the Manhattan probate process include:
- Notifying all heirs and potential heirs of the estate
- Cataloging the estate’s assets
- Opening bank accounts to handle estate funds
- Taking all necessary steps to protect the legal rights of the estate
Once these preliminary steps are complete, the executor will begin distributing assets. First, creditors will receive their fair share according to their claims on the estate. Next, the executor must pay all relevant taxes. Finally, the named heirs in the will receive the remainder of the estate property.
Closing Out an Estate
When the executor believes that they have distributed all estate property to the relevant parties, they can petition the court to close the estate. The court will require the executor to submit a log of their steps and a statement that they believe that the estate has served its function. In addition, the court may require updates on an executor’s progress from time to time to evaluate the executor’s actions.
It is important to recognize that this sequence of events describes what happens in an estate where no legal challenges arise. At any point, an interested party may dispute the authenticity of a will or allege that an executor has failed to meet their duties under the law. This may significantly lengthen and complicate the probate process in Manhattan. A seasoned attorney could help handle any disputes or issues that arise during probate.
An Attorney Could Provide more Information About the Probate Process in Manhattan
Understanding the probate process in Manhattan is essential to protecting your legal rights and enduring that the wishes of a decedent become a reality. It is crucial to work through this process with a lawyer who understands the intricacies of the relevant requirements and laws. Contact our office today to get started.