Whether you have recently lost a close friend or loved one, or you are getting ready to organize an estate plan, it is critical to know about the New York probate process.

The last will and testament can be an integral part of determining whether an estate must go through the probate process, according to the American Bar Association. You can ensure your last will and testament is written in such a way that will streamline the finalization of your estate once you pass.

What is the probate process?

The probate process is designed to ensure the will is valid and to help take care of estate matters after a person has passed. During the process, the executor accumulates all property and assets included in the estate. He or she is responsible for safeguarding the property until the items can be distributed to the rightful heirs named in the last will and testament.

Any debts or expenses owed by the estate is paid out of the estate’s value. The estate executor must then track down the beneficiaries and ensure they receive the property they are entitled to in the will. In some cases, the decedent names an executor of the estate in the last will and testament. If one is not named, there may be one appointed by the state.

Is probate required?

Probate is not required in all cases. Property and assets that are placed in a revocable trust are transferred directly to the beneficiaries and do not have to go through probate. Probate is required if the estate is valued at $50,000 or more. Smaller estates may avoid the process by going through a voluntary administration proceeding instead.