In New York, when a person has a will, probate is a key part of the process of distributing their estate after they have died. It establishes that the will is valid and can be used to settle the decedent’s affairs. It also assesses the facts before allowing probate.
A key part of the probate process is ensuring that the court is satisfied about various aspects of the will. For the executor and those who are named in the document, it is important to be aware of the laws governing this.
What does it take for the court to be satisfied so a will can go to probate?
According to the law, the court will need to inquire into the facts of the case and be satisfied that the will is genuine and valid before it can be probated. It can allow attesting witnesses to give an affidavit to satisfy this requirement.
Once the court is satisfied that the will was executed under the law, the testator was competent to write and execute it and it was not done under duress, it will be admitted to probate so the property can be passed along to those named in the document.
If the testator’s whereabouts are unknown but the situation is such that they can be presumed dead, the court can take proof of the facts and determine that the testator is dead with the will admitted to probate.
The complexities of probate often require professional help
Although many probate cases go smoothly and there are no holdups or disputes, other cases are not as easy. If, for example, the court discovers problems that need to be investigated in a deeper way to ensure the will is valid, it must do so.
Execution, competency and more can be a topic of discord. Those who are named in the will or think they are entitled to property from the estate could delay the process. Many executors are grieving and are unfamiliar with the process. For help with probate, it is important to have experienced legal guidance to try and address issues as they arise.