Estate planning requires a good bit of decision-making and the execution of certain documents that are used to legally record your wishes. This is well and good, but ultimately someone is going to have to carry out these wishes in a hands-on manner. If you use a will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer your estate is going to have to pass through probate. During this interim the probate or surrogate court in the jurisdiction that is local to you will supervise the administration of the estate. But of course you need someone to actually do the work involved, and this is the job of the executor.
When you are drawing up your will you need to appoint an executor, and this is not just a nod to a person that you love and feel close to. The executor is going to have some very serious responsibilities including satisfying all outstanding debts, taking care of tax responsibilities, inventorying assets, and in many cases liquidating some of them in preparation for distribution to your heirs. Few people are comprehensively qualified to take care of all this on their own so the executor must bring in professional assistance, and this is going to include a probate attorney.
Since probate is a legal process that involves the court it is important to have the proper representation. When you are working with an estate planning attorney to devise a plan he or she is going to be fully cognizant of the realities of the probate court in the area within which you reside, so the documents will be constructed with the realities of probate in mind. When you pass away this same attorney would clearly be a very logical candidate to guide your executor through the probate process.
Your probate attorney is your advocate, and he or she will do everything necessary to make sure that your wishes are carried out even if there was to be someone who stepped forward to challenge your will.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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