5 Quick Facts About Probating a Will and Administering an Estate

Wills & Trusts

When you lose a loved one, the last thing most people want to think about is forms, paperwork, taxes and the courts.  An estate administration attorney can help you navigate this difficult process and allow you the space to grieve.  Here are a few facts about the process to get you started thinking:

1. You have to wait 10 days after your loved one passes before probating a will in New Jersey.

2. There are assets that pass outside of the context of a will, like certain pensions and annuities as well as life insurance. When doing estate planning, one should always consider providing some sort of quick cash for your beneficiaries via life insurance to cover the initial expenses of burial and estate administration.

3. However, the costs of estate administration and burial/funeral are deductible from the estate once an executor or administrator has access to any funds that estate contains.  Meaning that whoever put the money out can be refunded.

4. Attorney fees for administering an estate are also a deductible debt from the estate. In larger or complicated estates, it is absolutely worth hiring an attorney to deal with the complexities for you.  If you are the executor and there are other beneficiaries, you have a fiduciary duty to them. An attorney and a good accountant are invaluable resources for helping you to avoid mistakes that can cost you personally.

5.  In the absence of a valid will, in order to distribute the assets from the estate, someone must apply to the court to be named administrator and have the court determine the distribution.  This can be an expensive process, and it will be a time consuming one.  That is why if you have not done your loved ones the kindness of having a valid will done, you should call for an appointment today to get that resolved.

If  you have been named an executor of a loved ones’ will and the process is overwhelming to you, (and why wouldn’t it be?) call us today for a free consultation.  856-227-7888.

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