The Significance of Establishing a Will

A will is a signed and witnessed document that tells the world, the court, and your family how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your passing. There is a huge significance in having this document, but it must go through probate which is the process to administer the will.

Probate is a straightforward procedure supervised by the surrogate court in New York requiring a filing fee, petition, and a death certificate. Most people misunderstand that you need waivers from all your closest living relatives agreeing that your wife or spouse should be your executor.

There are occasions where the will says he or she gets everything and there must be an agreement with this. This process can be both cumbersome and time-consuming, including a seven-month waiting period in New York. During this time, creditors can file claims. This is extremely important if you have funds in your estate because creditors can file and seek payment for those claims. Families do have the option to fight these claims but oftentimes they are paid because they are owed.

Although there are alternatives to using a will, it is very important that you have this document so that the world, the family, and the court knows how you want your assets distributed. If you have any questions about wills or other ways to distribute your assets when you pass away, please give us a call here at Hilton State and Elder Law.