When you create your Will you must also nominate an Executor. Your Executor is the person who will oversee the probate of your estate. After executing your Will you should always provide your Executor with the original Will because your Executor will need the original to begin the probate process.
Shortly after learning of your death anyone with knowledge of the existence of a Will must come forward. Usually that is your Executor. Your Executor will submit the Will to the appropriate court along with other documents needed to open probate. The court is then required to make a determination that the Will submitted is, indeed, a valid Last Will and Testament. If someone challenges the Will by filing a Will contest it must be litigated before any further action may be taken on your estate. Your Executor has a duty to defend the Will submitted to the court from any challenges.
Assuming your Will has been authenticated, and any challenges to its validity have been dealt with, creditors of your estate may file a claim against the estate if they have one. Your Executor then reviews those claims and pays approved claims out of your estate assets if sufficient assets exist to do so.
Finally, your Executor must prepare and pay any personal and/or gift and estate taxes before assets can finally be transferred to the intended beneficiaries. Once all necessary documents have been completed and/or steps taken to effectuate the legal transfer of assets to beneficiaries the probate of your estate can be closed.
If you have additional questions or concerns about creating and executing your Last Will and Testament, contact the experienced New York estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia, by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment.