When you are designated as a beneficiary in a Last Will and Testament, various essential rights are afforded to you by operation of law. For example, you are entitled to receive a formal “Notice of Probate” within 60 days following the Executor’s appointment by the Surrogate’s office, and you must be offered a copy of the decedent’s Last Will and Testament to review. You are also entitled to a full, detailed accounting from the Executor and timely distribution of your inheritance.
In addition, you may also be the designated beneficiary of various non-probate assets, which you can access directly without having to wait for the Executor to act. There may also be various time-sensitive options or “elections” that are available to you which could have significant tax implications or affect your eligibility for public assistance benefits.
An experienced estate administration attorney can help secure your rights, explain the probate process, secure non-probate assets, communicate with the Executor of the estate and help you make timely and appropriate decisions.