Will Probate and Estate Administration

Probate is the process of submitting a will to the Surrogate’s Court to prove its authenticity and having an executor appointed to do the job of collecting assets of a decedent and distributing them as the will directs while also paying debts and expenses of the estate. The probate process is a legal requirement that must be engaged in before assets can be transferred from a decedent’s estate to the beneficiaries. The process can be simple or complex depending on the execution of the will, the location of the beneficiaries and whether their are any objections to the will probate.

Administration takes place instead of probate when a person dies without a will. In such case, the estate of the decedent is “administered” not “probated”. The Surrogate’s Court looks to applicable law, rather than a will, to determine who is to receive the decedent’s assets.

As part of an estate administration, trusts which are created by a will may be set-up and funded in accordance with a will’s terms and provisions. Such trusts are often used to prevent minors from receiving large sums of money or to prevent disabled beneficiaries from waste or from being taken advantage of, or from financial mismanagement by any beneficiary.

Robert J .Rubinstein & Associates has many years of experience with the probate and administration processes and with the actions and rules required to marshal assets, pay expenses and make distributions during an estate administration.