Assisting New Jersey clients through estate administration
Estate planning is an important part of life. Though it is not easy to face, we all share the same unfortunate fate. It is important to discuss what will happen to your estate when you pass. Even though the thought may not have entered your mind, you probably have goals for your possessions. You probably have a vision of what will happen to your property after you are gone. Many of your wishes will not come to fruition without a will. Without a valid will, the court may decide how your assets are distributed. If you do have a will, pick an executor that you trust will carry out your wishes and ensure that your goals are met. The executor will have many responsibilities when administering your estate, including bringing the will to probate, gathering and distributing assets, and paying off debts and taxes. It is important that an estate administrator has the legal support necessary to navigate the complex matter of estate administration. If you need quality legal services from an experienced and effective estate administration attorney, contact Velasco Law Office.
What is probate?
The executor must offer a will to probate. This is the start of the estate administration process. To start the process, the executor will file the will and a certified copy of the death certificate 11 days after the death date with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the deceased resided. When the will is accepted, it is called a testate estate. Once the will is acceptable to the court, they will establish the executor and issue Letters of Testamentary, giving the executor the power to carry out the decedent’s wishes.
Gathering assets and paying liabilities
The executor now has the power to follow your instructions. At this point, it is time for the executor to ensure that your wishes and responsibilities are met. The executor will collect your assets, establish their value, and pay off debts or liabilities that are outstanding. They may have to pay taxes and file any necessary tax returns.
Closing the estate
In order for the executor to close the estate, he or she must fulfill their obligation to you. Your executor must provide a copy of the will and distribute the assets according to your instructions. A Release and Refunding Bond protects the executor in the event debts or taxes arise after distribution. This document should be signed before any distributions are made. Once the executor files the necessary documents with the court, the accounting and Release and Refunding Bonds will close the estate.
Contact a Middlesex County attorney with estate administration experience
Estate administration is a complex process that needs the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. An executor’s responsibilities go far beyond the one’s listed above and having legal support to ensure that your obligations have been met is in your best interests. If you have been asked to be an executor, contact Velasco Law Office for a consultation today.