Many people coping with the loss of a friend or relative find themselves confused and frightened when thrust into the trust administration and probate process. If you have been named an executor or trustee, you have an enormous responsibility under the law. Even if you are simply a relative or heir, you have a moral responsibility to the deceased to make sure his wishes are respected, as well as a responsibility to protect your own interests when it comes to your inheritance.
The Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia is here to help trustees, executors, beneficiaries, heirs, and family members. We can guide you through the trust administration and probate process in Long Island and surrounding areas to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and to ensure your rights are protected under the law. Give us a call today at 800-295-1917 to get personalized advice, as well as answers to some of the questions you might have including:
- What is involved in trust administration in Long Island?
- What happens during the Long Island probate process?
- How can a Long Island trust administration lawyer help?
What is Involved in Trust Administration in Long Island?
Trust administration happens in situations where a person passes away at some time following the creation of a trust. The trust document will name a trustee, and will provide instructions for the use of trust assets. The trustee will follow the instructions in the trust document, manage the assets within the trust, and facilitate the transfer of those assets to trust beneficiaries.
The trust administration process happens outside of court, and there is no judicial oversight – unlike with the probate process. However, trustees have a fiduciary obligation to act in the interest of beneficiaries and never to act in their own self-interest. Trustees must manage money and properly carefully, and must take the formal legal steps necessary to transfer assets to new owners in a timely and efficient manner. Trustees may have to deal with issues like re-tilting property and filing a tax return for the trust, depending upon the specifics of the situation. The obligations imposed on a trust administrator can be complicated and getting legal help is advisable.
What Happens During the Long Island Probate Process?
The probate process occurs after a death except in some limited circumstances, like when provisions were made for probate avoidance. The probate process is overseen and managed by an executor named in the last will and testament which was created by the deceased. The executor can decline to take on this responsibility, but most people who are named as an executor prefer to take action at the request of the deceased.
The executor should be represented by a probate lawyer, because it is the executor’s job to file all appropriate court paperwork and to oversee the probate process. This includes doing things like getting the assets of the estate appraised so it can be determine if the estate should be taxed and at what amount.
The executor also has to notify creditors of the death and the chance to make claims on the estate, and must manage property for the heirs during the probate process. Executors, like trustees, have a fiduciary duty. However, the probate process is different from trust administration because it is overseen by the probate court.
An experienced probate attorney can help an executor to fulfill all of the legal responsibilities that go along with taking on his or her important role. With the help of a legal advocate, the executor can make sure that the deceased’s last wishes are respected and can facilitate the effective transfer of assets to heirs.
An attorney can also provide legal representation to those who are concerned that a will may not be valid. If you wish to challenge the validity of a will during probate, you’ll need to make strong, substantiated arguments about why the will is improper and should not be probated.
How Can a Long Island Probate Lawyer Help?
A probate and trust administration lawyer in Long Island is there to guide you through all of these formal legal steps which must be taken after a death. When you want to ensure you have an experienced and compassionate legal representative regardless of your role in the trust administration or probate process, call the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia. Give us a call today at 800-295-1917 or contact us online to learn more about how our legal team can help you with probate and trust administration in Garden City, Hauppauge, Harrison, and surrounding areas.