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What’s the Difference Between Testate and Intestate?

Estate administration can be done during someone’s lifetime to plan for their estate, which includes any assets and possessions they leave behind. During your lifetime, you can plan your administration by implementing a will. A will is a legal document that can include beneficiaries to collect aspects of your estate and an executor to finish tasks for you. Without this information, loved ones may be unsure of how to carry out the estate administration process for individuals lacking a will. When someone dies with a will in place, they die intestate. This means that their properties are accounted for and doled out in their will. Loved ones can be made aware of their wishes through the will. If they die without a will in place, this can be more complicated. This is called intestate. For this process, there is no one named to carry out leftover responsibilities that an executor would usually accomplish. For these situations, the court can name someone and appoint them to carry out these tasks. Close relatives have the right to apply to be considered for this role.

How Is Probate Involved?

Probate is the process the legalizes documents regarding estate administration. When wills are made by individuals, there are certain procedures that need to be followed to ensure the will was made of the person’s own accord. They cannot be convinced to act according to someone else’s wishes. After the individual dies, the representative of the estate will have to bring the will to probate to allow for the estate administration process to be started. This can then allow the will to be processed and examined. An executor of the will has to carry out tasks that were left behind. This can involve paying for debts and taxes. Executors must take their role seriously as they are the ones who are now representing this individual’s estate. They also have to gather and distribute the assets that are named in the will to be given to a specific beneficiary.

The administration of one’s estate can be done during their lifetime, but when it is not done during this time, there are still options left. By appointing someone else to handle their estate, it can allow them to make decisions on behalf of the deceased individual.

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.