Handling probate as a surviving spouse

If your spouse recently passed away, your life may be different in many ways and you could be dealing with unimaginable emotional pain. Whether you have decided to move, are struggling with day-to-day aspects of your life, or feel depressed, this can be an incredibly hard time. Worse, you might be stressed out or unsure of how to handle legal matters related to your spouse's estate. Often, those who were married to a person when they passed away will have a great deal of involvement in probate proceedings, due to their intimate financial and emotional connection. In cities throughout New York, it is critical for surviving spouses in this position to handle probate matters correctly.

Frequently, someone will name their spouse as the executor of their estate, which carries many different responsibilities. If you are the executor of your loved one's will, you should familiarize yourself with your duties and take steps to make the transition easier for your family, as much as you can. You may be entitled to a portion of the estate and you might have to file a number of forms. You might have to resolve problems with some of your relatives, such as disagreements related to the way in which your spouse decided to distribute his or her assets to beneficiaries. If so, it is essential to be mindful of the impact these disputes can have on a family.

Dealing with probate can be challenging for some people, but informing yourself can help tremendously. Our page on probate offers more discussion on issues a surviving spouse may encounter.

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