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Probate Terms to Know 

Law Office Of Corey J. Rossi Feb. 6, 2023

Various symbols on wooden blocks representing Probate LawWhen a person dies in New York State, probate is often required to settle the decedent's estate and final wishes. During the probate proceedings, the executor or administrator will gather and evaluate the deceased person's assets, pay debts and taxes, and distribute the remaining assets to the rightful inheritors. A practiced New York State estate planning attorney can educate you on some important terms used during probate proceedings. 

At the Law Office Of Corey J. Rossi, we're committed to offering knowledgeable and experienced legal guidance to clients in estate planning and probate-related matters. Our skilled legal team can enlighten you about the New York State probate process and help you navigate crucial decisions when administering your deceased loved one's estate. We proudly serve clients across Tonawanda, Wheatfield, Amherst, and throughout Niagara County and Erie County, New York. 

Probate in New York 

Probate is a court-supervised process that is usually required when a person dies to distribute assets to surviving loved ones and settle their final affairs. The probate process involves collecting and evaluating the decedent's assets and property, paying taxes and debts, and eventually distributing the remaining assets to rightful heirs and beneficiaries. 

Probate Terms to Know 

Here are some key terms that are often used in New York State probate matters: 

Estate: The estate includes all of the property, assets, belongings, and possessions owned by the decedent at the time of death. 

Decedent: A decedent is an individual who has passed away or died. Their will or estate will go through the probate process. 

Testate: Testate is a situation whereby a person dies with a valid last will and testament. When a person dies testate, their estate will be settled according to the provisions and instructions of the will. 

Administrator: A probate administrator is an executor appointed by the probate court to manage the probate proceedings where the person dies without a will or estate plan (dying intestate). The probate court in New York State will appoint an administrator to settle the decedent’s estate. 

Beneficiary: A beneficiary is a person, entity, institution, business, or trustee that will inherit the property or receive benefits under a living trust or will. 

Creditor's Claim: A creditor's claim is a petition filed by an individual, entity, or organization to establish a debt owed by the deceased person to the petitioner. 

Executor: An executor is a person named in a will – or appointed by the probate court – to help settle the deceased person's estate in accordance with the provisions of the will. 

Fiduciary Duty: A fiduciary duty is an obligation or duty that a party has to act in the best interest of another party. During probate and estate administration, the executor or administrator has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the decedent, estate, and beneficiaries. 

Guardianship: Guardianship is a fiduciary arrangement that allows the court to appoint a person or entity (the guardian) to support another person – a minor child or adult – who is developmentally or intellectually disabled, unable to manage their affairs, or make decisions on their own. In New York State, the legal guardian will manage the healthcare, financial, and personal affairs of the ward. 

Intestate Succession: Intestate succession is a situation in which a person dies without a valid will or estate plan. When a person dies intestate in New York, the state's intestacy succession laws will be used to settle the decedent's estate. 

Probate Account: A probate account is a bank account that can be used to receive payments made to the decedent or pay out debts and taxes owed by the deceased person. The probate account can be used to separate the estate funds from other kinds of funds or money. 

Letters Testamentary: Letters Testamentary is a court certificate which proves that a person is the duly appointed executor of the deceased person's estate. Once appointed, the New York State will issue the Letters Testamentary to the executor. This gives them the authority to act on behalf of the estate. 

However, knowing the aforementioned terms used in probate is important to understand the process. An experienced New York State probate administration attorney can walk you through the probate process and help you navigate crucial decisions. 

Don't Face Probate Alone. Call Now.  

Going through probate when a loved one dies can be difficult and emotional. However, you don't have to go through it alone. Our trusted attorneys at the Law Office Of Corey J. Rossi have the diligence and expertise to advise and guide individuals, families, and fiduciaries through the complicated probate proceedings. 

As your legal counsel, we can enlighten you about how probate works in New York State, some key terms to know, and what to expect. In addition, we will help settle your deceased loved one's estate, navigate crucial decisions during probate, and resolved any probate dispute peacefully and quickly. 

Contact us at the Law Office Of Corey J. Rossi today to arrange a case evaluation. Our trusted legal team will walk you through the probate proceedings from start to finish and help you make intelligent decisions. We're proud to serve clients across Tonawanda, Wheatfield, Amherst, and throughout Niagara County and Erie County, New York.