Estate Planning: Understanding Probate- New Jersey

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If you have been researching estate planning for a while, it is unlikely that you haven’t heard of probate. Skip the guessing part and contact an estate planning lawyer New Jersey.

And let us help you with everything you’d like to know about probate. Hopefully, this article will give you a basic understanding of the probate process. 

What comes under your estate? 

An estate consists of your belongings, including money, property investments, and personal possessions. Your liabilities and tax dues are all part of your estate. Someone must manage your inheritance and settle your affairs when you pass away. This individual will oversee the probate of your estate, which is a procedure that wraps up your financial issues following your death. The legal processes commence in the state where you lived when you died. In New Jersey, the surrogate of the county is in charge of the probate process. If you own property in more than one state, it may require multiple probates to settle your case.

The Probate Process

When subjected to probate, someone close to you files a petition for the probate of your will. After completing the application process to appoint an executor, the petitioner takes it before the probate court. The court then decides the validity of the will. The court will next decide on the application for an executor if the will fulfills all of your state’s legal criteria. The court will usually grant the application if the executor fits your state’s standards and is qualified to serve.

Who is an Executor?

An executor is someone you appoint to oversee the administration of your estate. The executor is usually a spouse or a close relative. You can also prefer to nominate a professional executor. Banks and attorneys are examples of professional executors. You must pick someone you can trust to execute your objectives as written in your will. The executor has a fiduciary responsibility, which means they must be truthful, unbiased, and financially responsible. This does not imply that your executor must be a lawyer or a tax expert, but rather that they must be able to recognize when to seek professional guidance.

Is Probate Required for Your Entire Estate?

While the majority of your assets may undergo probate, others may not. It relies primarily on the kind of assets and how they are labeled. Most spouses, for example, own their property jointly with survivorship rights. This type of property avoids probate totally and passes through the “operation of law.” Regardless of the will or the need for probate, the property falls straight to the joint owner upon death. 

People have the notion that the probate process is costly, and the truth is, undergoing the procedure provides a solid legal foundation for the proper transfer of a loved one’s wealth. Furthermore, in most situations, the probate process is relatively inexpensive.