In New Jersey, the probate process begins when the estate’s representative brings the original will and the death certificate. Generally, the decedent’s spouse or domestic partner is appointed as the estate’s representative when there is no will, although other people can be eligible. In New Jersey, the widow, domestic partner, children and perhaps even the parents of the decedent will receive portions of the estate if there is no will. New Jersey intestate laws will determine who gets what. There are set guidelines already in place that will govern the division of the estate.
After a person dies, deciding how to divide and disburse their belongings can get extremely complicated especially if there is no will. In these cases, there may be many people trying to establish their inheritance rights to the estate. Determining who is entitled to what can be very difficult. The principle heirs and the court appointed representative of the estate should work very closely with a New Jersey probate attorney to make sure that everyone gets what they are entitled to as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Duties of The Estate Administrator
Leaving a will makes the process of settling the estate much easier. The administrator is appointed in the will, limiting potential fighting on who should hold this position. The beneficiaries are also clearly stated, along with what they are to receive. Even with a well planned out will, the administrator still has a lot of work to do. He or she must take a complete inventory of the estate. Depending on when the will was written, things may have changed. The administrator has to determine this and then make note of it.
After the inventory has been completed, everything must be appraised. There needs to be a final figure for the value of the estate. This will determine who gets paid what. Payment from the estate must first me made to fund the administration of the estate. This includes paying for mandated advertising (the Notice of Creditors), contacting the beneficiaries, appraisal fees, court fees, etc. Funeral expenses may also be paid by the estate, if necessary. Money goes to support the family. Creditors are then paid. Beneficiaries are paid with what is left over. If the decedent diet with a lot of bills and/or taxes, the amount of money that goes to the beneficiaries will decrease.
The administrator of the will also is entitled to be paid. The amount of money that they are paid is determined by the New Jersey statutes which govern this manner. It is best to work with a New Jersey probate attorney to get these specifics. They will be abreast of all recent changes and current payment amounts.
Do I Need A Probate Lawyer?
It is best to work with a probate lawyer familiar with New Jersey probate law. The law can be very complicated and the legalese very difficult for people not properly trained to understand. Therefore, to avoid any missteps, it is best to have the advice of someone whose life’s work includes extensive probate planning. The sooner the process is finished, the administrator and the beneficiaries can get back to their lives and continue mourning. When probate gets dragged, the only people that are usually happy are the lawyers because the more the work, the more they are compensated. Expensive lawyer’s fees can eat away, fiscally, at the estate, meaning less money for everyone.
What Is A Heir Loan?
If a beneficiary is waiting for a case to be resolved that is stuck in probate, they have the option of taking out a probate loan. A probate loan or heir loan will give the beneficiary cash right away. They do not have to wait years before they receive any money. Probate loans are given in even large amounts, in some cases, up to $1,000,000.
New Jersey Probate
In New Jersey, it costs $200 to file for probate. This isn’t incredibly expensive. Generally, filing fees aren’t that costly. Legal costs, contacting creditors, beneficiaries, paying the administrator and appraisal fees generally will cost the estate the most money. A bond must be posted for the value of the personal and real property included in the estate. This will be an additional fee.
When there is a valid will, the estate will distributed as directed in the will. When there is not will, New Jersey intestate laws will decide how the estate is split up. The court will also appoint the personal representative. The living spouse is the first in line for this duty. However, other family members could also be appointed. The personal representative is paid. They are eligible to receive 5% on corpus up for estates valued at $200,000 or less, 3.5% of estates valued between $200,000 and $1,000,000 and 2% of estates valued over $1,000,000.
Not all property is probated in New Jersey. Joint bank accounts and CD’s that are owned jointly with rights of survivorship do not have to be probated.
Probate Resources- New Jersey
Inheritance Taxes- New Jersey
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