Burlington probate lawyers can provide representation to those who are going through probate after a death has occurred. Going through the probate process can be stressful and complicated after a death, particularly because it can be such a long process with Investopedia estimating probate lasts around a year.
While all parties involved in probate may find the court proceedings and lengthy process to be burdensome, the person with the most responsibilities during the entirety of the probate process is the executor of an estate.
If you have been named in a will as executor of an estate, you should carefully consider what this entails before you agree to serve in this role. Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help you to understand what is required of an executor and can also provide you with assistance in fulfilling your duties if you decide to take this role on.
What Executors Need to Know About the Probate Process
If you have been named as executor of an estate in a last will and testament, here are a few key things that you need to know about the probate process:
- The court must appoint you as executor: Being named as executor in a last will and testament does not mean you are legally obligated to fulfill this role. When the will is submitted to the probate court, the court must officially appoint you as executor. If you don’t want to be the executor even though you were named in the will, you do not have to be. The court will appoint a personal representative who will oversee the estate administration process.
- The executor has to file legal paperwork with the court: If you do decide to serve in the role of executor, you need to be prepared to handle the process of completing and submitting all official legal paperwork to the court. There are often deadlines that you must meet so it is important you are prepared to take on this task. Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can assist you, and can represent you when you must appear on behalf of the estate in court proceedings.
- The executor must notify interested parties: You will be responsible for providing proper notice of the probate proceedings to creditors, potential heirs or beneficiaries and other parties with an interest in probate proceedings.
- The executor is in charge of managing estate assets: This means many different things. You’ll need to track down the assets owned by the deceased, including determining if anyone owes money to the deceased that needs to pay it. You may need to go through a process such as hiring a private investigator or forensic accountant in order to identify and find missing assets. You’ll also need to pay bills, manage investments, and otherwise do what you can to protect the property that is part of the estate.
- You will have to comply with tax requirements. The executor’s job includes submitting all necessary forms and paperwork to the IRS. You may need to create a tax ID for the estate.
- You’ll have to facilitate the transfer of assets: It will be up to you to make sure the proper processes are followed for changing titles and deeds so new owners can take possession of the deceased person’s wealth.
- You will need to respond if someone contests a will: You’ll have to work with an attorney to facilitate a defense.
These are some of the many different tasks executors need to do. You should be sure you are up to fulfilling this role before you agree to be appointed as an executor after a death has occurred.
Getting Help from Burlington Probate Lawyers
Burlington probate lawyers at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can work closely with you to ensure that the process of probating a will goes as smoothly as possible. We provide representation to executors as they fulfill their myriad duties, helping with everything from filing tax forms to taking care of court paperwork. We also represent heirs or beneficiaries who want to ensure that the executor of an estate is doing his job properly and that the transfer of assets is going as smoothly as possible.
To find out more about how our firm can assist with all aspects of the probate process, join us for a free seminar. You should also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to get personalized advice specific to your situation. Call as soon as possible after a loved one has died and you become involved in the probate process so you can get a compassionate and knowledgeable member of our legal team advocating for you. Call now to find out more.