Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing a person’s property (the “estate”) after their death. If the person had a will, the will goes through probate. Even if a person dies with out a will their assets still have to go through probate. If you die without a will it is called intestate. Probate is the process which gives the assets of the deceased to the living. The entire process is supervised by the surrogate court and, usually takes some time from start till end.
The emotional trauma brought on by the death of a close family member often is accompanied by bewilderment about the financial and legal steps the survivors must take during their time of grief. The spouse who passed away may have handled all of the couple’s finances. Or perhaps a child must begin taking care of probating an estate about which he or she knows little about. And this task may come on top of a rigorous daily schedule, commitments to family and work that can’t just be set aside and left un-attended. Finally, the estate itself may be in disarray or scattered among many different financial vehicles and investment accounts, which is not unusual with a generation that had seen banks collapse during the Depression.