Purposeful Advocacy for New Jersey
A Path Forward for Your Finances, Your Family, & Your Future

How Does Probate Function?

Probate is a part of the estate administration process. Through probate, a will becomes a legal document that the courts intend to follow. In order to plan for your estate administration, there are certain steps to take to make sure your assets are taken care of when you are gone and that they are distributed to the beneficiaries that you have named. When facing the death of a loved one, it is convenient to follow their wishes of what they have previously planned for. This can give you and your family a peace of mind to know that you just have to follow their demands instead of making decisions for them. The probate process proves the validity of legal documents that administer an estate. Probate involves the validation of legal matters regarding a deceased person’s estate to provide a basis on what the court should follow.

What’s the Difference Between Testate and Intestate?

The time when a will is made is important. When a person dies with a valid will in place, this can be more beneficial. They will have laid out their plans for estate administration in the will and have made steps to validate the will. This is an instance where the person dies testate, meaning that they died with a valid will. The will has gotten the proper documentation and the Surrogate Court will oversee the probate of the will. Since the will has gone through the proper probate process, it proves that the will is valid and is a formal legal document that should be followed.

If the will is contested, it may be sent to the Superior Court. When an individual dies without a will, it means they died intestate. This can prove to be a more stressful situation since loved ones may be unsure of how to prepare for the deceased’s estate administration. A representative may be appointed by the state to oversee the administration of the estate. This person may be the closest living relative. Certain family members, such as a living spouse or children, may be entitled to the estate.

Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.