New Jersey Probate Administration Lawyers
New Jersey Probate and Estate Administration Issues
When a family member dies, our attorneys can help take care of the administration of the estate. We can also help in establishing a power of attorney in cases where a person's health or mental capacity may be deteriorating. We are very familiar with New Jersey probate law and estate administration, whether or not a will is available.
Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies. It includes:
- proving in court that a deceased person's will is valid
- identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property
- appraising the property
- paying debts and taxes, and
- distributing the remaining assets and property according to the directions in the will
Probate administration usually involves paperwork and court appearances by lawyers. The lawyers and court fees are paid from the estate's assets, which would otherwise go to the people named in the will to inherit the deceased person's property.
The process generally works as follows: upon your death, your executor, the person named in your will to handle your estate, or, if you do not have a will, a court-appointed person, must file papers in New Jersey probate court. The executor proves your will is valid and provides the court with a catalogue of your property and other assets, your debts, and the people you have named to inherit your assets. Once this is completed, relatives and creditors are officially notified of your death.
This process takes time and rarely benefits your loved ones. It always costs them time and money waiting for the estate to settle. Probate is useful only if your estate has serious problems, such as debts that cannot be paid from the sale of your property.
Deciding whether to spend your time and effort planning to avoid probate depends on several factors, primarily your age, your health and your wealth. If you're young, in good health, and have very little property, a simple will may be all you need. But if you are over 50, in ill health or own a significant amount of property, you'll probably want to do some planning to save your family time and money and avoid probate entirely.
At Goldstein, Bachman & Newman, our attorneys can help you determine whether or not you need an estate plan or power of attorney. They can also assist you in any New Jersey estate dispute. If you have questions about probate or estate administration, contact us today.