Probate court can turn into a lengthy process in New York, especially when individuals don’t take steps to avoid delays. Unfortunately, it’s often the heirs who must endure the delays. Here are three steps that individuals can take to protect their heirs from a lengthy probate process.
Identify all assets and accounts
Some people have a lengthy list of assets and accounts. However, not everyone has such a list. Not having a list of account numbers and their associated PINs can leave heirs struggling to locate documents for those assets.
When that happens, wills can end up in probate court. Individuals can protect their heirs from probate delays by creating documents that detail all assets and accounts during the estate planning process. Using something as simple as a ledger system to document assets and accounts can help heirs avoid problems with probate.
Keep all documents together
Probate can also be delayed because of missing documents. This can happen when individuals keep documents in various locations such as safes and bank deposit boxes.
Unfortunately, heirs must spend time searching for those documents and may end up having to contact the financial institution. This can also lead to lost assets as well as probate delays. Individuals can protect their heirs from a lengthy probate process with a streamlined storage plan in which all important documents are stored in one central location.
Document digital assets
Digital assets can be overlooked during the estate planning process. Digital assets can include things like cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), audio files, central bank digital currency and electronic holdings. Documenting those digital assets can help heirs avoid lengthy probate delays.
Probate delays do happen. With careful planning, the risk can be reduced.