New York residents should know that probate is a legal process that requires careful attention to detail as well as a strong knowledge of the correct legal documents that have to be filed. When individuals attempt to complete a probate on their own, they may inadvertently make a mistake that can cause a number of costly and time-consuming issues.
One error individuals make when tackling probate by themselves is failing to provide proper notice to heirs and all other interested parties. All parties should receive a notice and be provided the chance to contest the contents of a will even if a party is explicitly disinherited in it.
Not notifying creditors is another misstep. Creditors are allowed an opportunity to try to collect on any debts that are owed. If the individual in charge of the probate fails to properly notify creditors before the assets are distributed, he or she may be held personally liable for any debts that remain.
Failing to obtain a bond can also be an issue. Unless it is waived by a will, an individual is legally required to get a bond when he or she files a notice of probate with the court and submits an application to become the personal representative of an estate. The bond is used as an insurance policy in the event that the personal representative fails to carry out the requirements of the probate. Obtaining a bond is costly and may not be feasible if the personal representative has an insufficient credit history.
Probate administration can be a complicated process. There are many requirements that must be followed in order for a will to be processed and validated. An attorney who practices estate planning may have the experience to properly handle a probate.