What Exactly Happens in Surrogate Court?

What Exactly Happens in Surrogate Court?

A surrogate court, which is also commonly known as a probate court, is a specialized court that hears the cases about the affairs of a deceased person. It deals with the matter of probate of wills and the administration of estates. A surrogate court basically, administers the appropriate distribution of the assets, checks the validity and reliability of the wills and refrains wrong doing by executors. Under the availability of a will, the probate court examines the authenticity of the will and properly distribute the assets while in the case of intestacy, the court decides the equal distribution of the deceased’s property according to the law declared by the legal affairs associations. Probate proceedings are held in the city where the decedent had permanent residence or had a domicile of.

In the case of appeals, process at surrogate courts involves a complete process to distribute the property. It initiates with the process that whether the deceased person has left any will or not. But even before that, a case is filed in the local surrogate court which technically needs the death certificate. The requirements of the courts also vary.

  • If the will is not available, the court checks the attorney, whether the person has filed their attorney or not.
  • If the will is available, action is taken on it. The executor claims the will to the local surrogate court to approve the will under his or her name.

The next step is to file a petition. If the decedent left a will, then a Petition for Probate must be filed. The person died intestate, then a file or a petition for Letters of Administration is used. After it gets done, the court would require all these and other necessary documents.

After all the legal processes involving heirs, interested parties agreements, the court appoints the executor to be the representative of the deceased property. The court also issue a decree granting probate by issuing Letters Testamentary to the executor. Letters Testamentary is a document that gives the executor the responsibility of administering the estate. Once this process has be legally formulated, the court handovers all the essential assets to the executor that has been assigned as the representative of the property. The essential assets and property enlist the following:

  • Bank Accounts
  • Securities
  • Real Estate Properties

The executor will also be responsible for paying the debts, taxes and will also be bound to distribute the estate property to all the beneficiaries.

Important Factors about Probate:

  • The Will made from fraud will be denied under the law.
  • All separated papers, important documents, requirements and original death certificate should be submitted to the court for further process.
  • As per the rules of the court, all the original documents should be submitted, copy of documents or damaged ones will not be accepted by the court.
  • The Will created in other or foreign languages will be accepted only if the tester understands the language of the Will.

The process of probate in surrogate court is not difficult until and unless all the necessary measures are taken into account.

why a probate lawyer is important

Why It’s Important To Hire a Probate Lawyer

There are some point in one’s life wherein you will need the help of a probate lawyer. A probate lawyer will help manage filing one’s will or the last testament of a deceased person. Hiring the best probate lawyer will provide an assurance that the family members will receive the property that an individual will left behind after their death. Hiring a probate lawyer while the individual is still alive will not need require you to have some sense of urgency and you will also have the right time to shop around for the best lawyer who will represent your best interest.

In this area, the law may be straightforward and simple or it can also convoluted and confusing. Because it will depend on the degree of the estate planning by the deceased, while they are still alive. However, hiring the best probate lawyer will lessen your stress and will provide you great importance to have a complete will, while ensuring that your families members will no longer experience additional distress after you have passed away.

Probate is a kind of process that may occur after an individual passes away in which it involves taking care of all debts and fair distributions of assets. However, this kind of process only takes place when there is no estate planning or will. Probate lawyers will help you create the last will and testament to ensure that your family members can have real security in the event that you pass away. They also have the ability to assist you with the trust planning and even the medical powers of attorney. Furthermore, your probate lawyer can help some individual regarding their asset protection and can prepare and file all of the needed documents that are required by the court. Aside from the probate process, your probate lawyer can also perform and deal with some matters like income tax issues, requesting permission to the court of various actions that is needed and retitling decedent’s assets to their beneficiaries.

There are some people who find lots of questions if they do really need to hire a probate lawyer. With this kind of question, there is no doubt that the answer is a big yes even though the choice is up to an individual. Having a legal lawyer at your side will provide you security and protection of your family in the future. Even though they will not have to write the estate planning or your will, they have the capability to handle your case. Ensuring everything before you pass away is crucial if there are some mistakes that will set back to the executor of the wills by months. Therefore, an experienced probate lawyer is very important because they know everything that you will need to conduct the probate in a timely manner. Always keep in your mind that having a last will and testament is one of the greatest gift that your family members will receive once you pass away.


What do estate lawyers do?

More than half of Americans leave the world without a proper will or an estate plan. Since they have not created the financial plans in their living, the state often transfers the assets to the deceased person’s closest relatives. The state also decides where the young children of the deceased are sent as well as their property if the other parent is unable to take care of them. However, with the help of an estate lawyer, these decisions can be made thoughtfully in advance.

An estate lawyer is a bar certified attorney who helps and guides their clients in choosing the correct options for maintaining their estates and property after death, mental disability or incapacity. Every person has different wishes. Some wish to distribute their wealth and property equally between their family members while others may have other desires about their assets. A qualified estate lawyer will not only describe the various options available but also make sure that your last wishes are carried out according to the law.

It is important to choose an estate lawyer who is experienced and understands your unique family and financial situations. The estate attorney should also be well informed about the laws of your certain state. You should also be comfortable with your estate planning lawyer in order to share the most intimate details of your life.

An estate planning lawyer can help you in various ways such as:

  • prepare a power of attorney according to the requirements of law
  • advice ways on how to reduce taxes on your estate property
  • prepare a will
  • establish a living trust
  • pass the property to the client’s family members as desired
  • makes sure that your property is protected from inheritor’s creditors and predators
  • And much more.

Who should hire an estate lawyer?

Estate planning is an important and often the most neglected part of any financial planning. Of course, it may seem simple for those who have few assets as well as no complicated family situations. But in truth, Estate planning is beneficial in assuring that finances are properly handed over to the heirs as well as medical decisions are made in advance and the heirs receive fair amount of the total assets.

An experienced and qualified estate planning attorney can help ensure that your property is managed smoothly even after your demise and makes sure your wishes to distribute your property and other wealth is carried out the way you want.