Smithtown probate lawyers provide representation to clients during the probate process. The probate process is the official legal process that takes place to facilitate the transfer of assets to new owners after a deceased person (a decedent) has passed away. The probate process can always be time-consuming, with Investopedia estimating it takes about a year for a basic probate proceeding to be completed. However, if problems arise during probate, it can take much longer.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can help those who are involved in the probate process to do everything possible to try to avoid any issues that could make probate take longer or cause the probate process to become more costly. When problems do arise, we can help the executor of an estate or heirs or beneficiaries to take the necessary steps to resolve whatever issues have occurred. Give us a call to find out about the ways in which our Smithtown probate lawyers can work to make sure the probate process goes smoothly and can help to resolve the issues that arise when there are problems.
Although many different things can go wrong during probate proceedings, here are five common problems that occur often and that our legal team can help with.
The Executor Named in the Will Doesn’t Want to Fulfill this Role
When a decedent creates a last will and testament, he typically will name an executor of an estate. If the chosen executor isn’t interested in fulfilling this role or is not able to do so, the named person can decline to be officially appointed as executor by the court. The court will appoint a personal representative or estate administrator instead.
The Executor Fails to Fulfill his Duties
An executor of an estate has a fiduciary duty. If the executor acts in his own self-interests or otherwise fails to fulfill his obligations during the probate process, there are legal remedies available. The court can remove the executor and someone else can be appointed to take care of assets and oversee the probate process. In some cases, heirs or beneficiaries can take legal action for breach of fiduciary duty against the executor if that person has caused financial loss due to failure to fulfill his obligations.
The Will is Contested
A will can be contested if someone does not believe it is a true reflection of the wishes of the deceased. A person who wants to contest a will is going to have to prove that the will shouldn’t be probated because of a problem, such as the decedent creating the will under conditions of fraud or duress. It is up to the person who is contesting a will to provide appropriate proof that the will isn’t valid. The executor of an estate and heirs or beneficiaries can present alternative evidence showing the will actually is a true reflection of the wishes of the deceased.
Creditors Make Costly Claims
During the probate process, creditors have the opportunity to make claims against the estate. Valid claims will need to be paid out of estate assets. However, it is up to creditors to show they have a right to collect. In some cases, the state will act as a creditor and try to recoup funds spent on Medicaid services for the deceased. It may be possible to stop this Medicaid estate recovery under certain conditions and to protect the assets of the estate.
Assets Cannot be Found
If there are assets that should be part of the probate estate that cannot be located, this can cause delays as the executor of an estate tries to find all of the estate assets that must eventually be transferred to new owners. This problem can be avoided if the person who is creating an estate plan and last will and testament provides instructions for where assets can be found.
Getting Help from Smithtown Probate Lawyers
Smithtown probate lawyers at Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can provide help with all aspects of the probate process. We can provide representation to heirs or beneficiaries, the executor of an estate, anyone who wishes to contest a will, and other interested parties during the probate process. To find out more about the ways in which our firm can help you, join us for a free seminar.
You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online to get personalized help with probate proceedings you are involved in. Call today to get a knowledgeable advocate on your side to help make probate go smoothly and to be ready to respond if problems arise.