Mullica Hill Probate Lawyer
Mullica Hill Probate Lawyer
The term “probate” can be confusing, and the process of probate can feel daunting. Indeed, it can be stressful to know that you must go through a probate process after a loved one passes away. Yet the probate process is necessary for assets to be passed through a person’s will, and for a deceased person’s estate to be settled. When a loved one passes away, you should know that you do not need to navigate the probate process on your own. An experienced Mullica Hill probate lawyer can assist you every step of the way.
Our firm knows how important it is to ensure that your loved one’s assets are distributed properly and that the probate process can proceed in a timely and effective manner. Do not hesitate to reach out to Scott Counsel, P.C. to learn more about the ways we can assist you during probate.
What is Probate in Mullica Hill?
Probate is a legal process under New Jersey law that is often required when a person dies. During the probate process, the person who has been named as the administrator of the deceased’s estate will be responsible for administering the estate. The administrator of the estate can also be known as the executor. The administrator or executor is responsible for identifying the deceased’s property, including assets and debts, and ensuring that debts and taxes are paid and that assets are transferred appropriately to those who have inherited them according to the deceased’s will.
In the probate process, the administrator or executor will need to take steps to release the deceased’s assets, which can occur through the use of waivers. The executor or administrator then must determine whether there are any inheritance taxes or estate taxes due. In addition to a federal estate tax, the administrator or executor will need to determine if a New Jersey inheritance tax or estate tax is due. For anyone who resided outside the state of New Jersey but owned assets in New Jersey, a non-resident inheritance tax may be due. The probate process will take at least six months, but it often takes much longer. While many estates can be probated within one year, the probate process can sometimes extend beyond a year if there are complex assets associated with the estate, or if there is a will contest. A New Jersey estate cannot be settled any sooner than six months after the date the will goes to probate.
Simplified Probate Process in Mullica Hill, New Jersey
In some circumstances, a person’s estate allows for a simplified probate process. The simplified probate procedures that are permitted under New Jersey law take less time and cost less money than the traditional or regular probate process. However, not all estates are eligible for probate. If you are the executor or administrator of an estate, a simplified probate process may be possible if one of the following is true:
- Deceased’s assets do not exceed $20,000, and the deceased has a surviving spouse who is entitled to receive those assets; or
- The deceased’s assets do not exceed $20,000, and the deceased left no surviving spouse or domestic partner, but there is one heir who can receive all of the assets.
Objections to the Probate of Will in Mullica Hill, NJ
When a person dies, one or more parties might object to the terms of a will and may want to move forward with a will contest to challenge the document. To contest a will in New Jersey, the person must have the standing to do so.
Avoiding Probate in Mullica Hill: Some Assets Do Not Need to Go through the Probate Process
Depending upon the circumstances of a person’s death and the types of assets they owned, probate may or may not be necessary. There are a variety of types of property that do not need to go through probate. In some circumstances, the deceased might have planned extensively for his or her beneficiaries to be able to avoid probate by establishing trusts or naming a beneficiary on an account. In other cases, probate may be avoided by circumstance and the fact that the deceased’s only assets were shared accounts. Examples of assets that can be passed without going through the probate process include some of the following:
- Life insurance policies for which there is a named beneficiary;
- Pension plans for which there is a named beneficiary;
- Retirement accounts for which there is a named beneficiary, such as a 401(k) plan to an IRA;
- Payable-on-death (POD) bank account for which there is a designated beneficiary;
- Stocks and bonds that have been registered through a transfer-on-death form with a named beneficiary;
- The asset that is co-owned through joint ownership (through joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety) by the deceased and another person (in which case the asset will automatically pass to the surviving co-owner); and
- Assets contained in a trust.
New Jersey law allows individuals to place most assets in a living trust, which is a type of trust that you can create during your lifetime. By creating a revocable living trust, a person can have the ability to modify or alter the trust during his or her lifetime while ensuring that his or her heirs and beneficiaries will be able to have assets passed while avoiding probate.
Contact a Probate Attorney in Mullica Hill
Whether you are the executor of an estate or you have questions and concerns about the probate process, or you need to learn more about challenging the validity of a will, our Mullica Hill probate attorneys can speak with you today. Our firm has significant experience providing a wide variety of estate planning and probate services to clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and we can begin working with you today. We know that the probate process can seem daunting, but our firm is here to assist you from start to finish. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or call our firm at (856) 281-3131 to learn more about how we can help you through the probate process.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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