When a loved one passes away, their assets generally go through the probate process, which can, unfortunately, become a complex and cumbersome journey, especially if your loved one has not written a legally-enforceable will. However, with a bit of self-education and the help of an experienced attorney, you can keep a cool head and bear down in the weeks or months to come. Read on to learn more about the probate process and how our firm can help:

What does intestate mean?

When a loved one passes away, he or she could either die testate, or intestate. Essentially, when a loved one has a valid and legally enforceable will, he or she dies testate. On the other hand, when a loved one dies intestate, they would have passed on without writing a legally enforceable will.

How does probate work?

11 days after your loved one has died, their will shall take legal effect, as long as it is proven in probate court that the will was validly executed, was the last will drafted, and that it was not revoked at any time. Once 11 days have passed, the will and a death certificate shall be filed with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where your loved one lived when he or she passed away. Executors, heirs, spouses, creditors, and anybody else with a property right in or a claim against the estate may do this filing.

What does an executor of a will do?

The executor of an estate may either be chosen and appointed in a will or appointed by a court if the deceased did not write a valid will. Executors are responsible for ensuring all assets are distributed and tended to according to the deceased’s wishes. Executors are responsible for providing the court with accounting, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and for collecting, protecting, and distributing assets in accordance with the will.

If you are currently writing a will, you must ensure you appoint an executor you can trust, as they deal with extremely sensitive information. On the other hand, if your loved one’s assets are about to enter the probate process, please do not hesitate to reach out to our seasoned estate planning firm. We are ready to provide you with the compassionate assistance you need.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

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 20 years. If you need experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.

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