The passing of a loved one is a sad and emotional experience. Estate administration can add stress to an already trying time in one’s life. The process of probate can burden loved ones with the undue stress of having to juggle complex legal and financial issues while trying to focus on healing, especially for the one asked to act as executor of the will. If you are asked to act as the executor of a will, you should have an effective and compassionate will, trusts, and estate attorney to guide you through your legal responsibilities when bringing a will to probate. Bringing a will to probate will allow the court to distribute assets and real property to heirs and beneficiaries. The probate process mostly deals with:
Gathering, managing, and distributing assets
Filing tax returns
If you need an attorney to guide you through your legal options and help you manage the overwhelming process of probate, contact Juan C. Velasco, Esq. for a consultation.
Testate means that a person died with a valid will. The Surrogate’s Court will oversee the probate of the will. If the will is contested, it will be sent to the Superior Court. If a person died without a will, he or she died “intestate.” New Jersey will appoint someone to oversee the administration of the estate. If possible, the closest living relative has the right to apply as the representative.
A will is a legal document drafted to ensure that a person’s wishes regarding their estate are met after death. For the will to have any legal effect, it must be proved up in probate court to demonstrate it was validly executed, that it was the last will drafted, and that it was not revoked. The process of probate may not begin until 11 days after the date of death. At this time, the original will and death certificate should be filed with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the deceased lived at the time of death. This filing can be made by the executor of the will, any heirs, spouses, creditors, or anyone else with a property right in or claim against the estate.
The executor has the legal responsibility to take care of the deceased person’s remaining financial obligations. The executor can be named in the will or appointed by the court. Some of the many executor’s responsibilities include:
Collecting, protecting, and distributing assets according to the will’s specification
Paying outstanding debts and taxes
Providing accounting to the court
Acting as the executor is a serious undertaking. If you have been assigned as an executor, you have a lot of responsibilities, and having a knowledgeable and effective attorney to guide you through the process of probate is in your best interests.
Whether you are the executor, a beneficiary, or another individual with a claim to or against the estate, you should have an attorney that can protect your rights through the probate process. If you are contesting a will, you have a limited time to do so. If you are acting as the executor, you have an overwhelming responsibility. If you need quality legal services from an attorney with over 25 years of experience, contact Velasco Law Office for a consultation.