Probate law in New Jersey can be complex, especially if you have been named as the executor of a deceased person’s Will. Hiring an attorney who specializes in estate planning will be helpful, but we’ve created a list of duties and responsibilities so that you can familiarize yourself with your new role in the meantime:
Analyze the will and documents
If the deceased had a living trust and all of his or her assets form part of the trust, then you will be able to avoid probate and the funds can be distributed according to the Will without waiting for approval by a court. If the assets weren’t transferred to the trust prior to death, then it will be your responsibility to offer the funds for probate and you will need a judge to approve the dispersal of the funds.
As the Executor of the will, you will be responsible for closing the deceased’s financial accounts, finalizing the tax processes and cancelling any government benefits that the deceased received prior to his or her death. The funeral home will give you a death certificate (which you will need in order to complete all these administrative tasks) and you will also be responsible for arranging and executing the funeral.
Determine the value of the assets and distribute assets accordingly
The Executor is also responsible for locating all the assets in the Will. These assets typically include real estate, vehicles, artwork, furniture, electronics and so forth. The attorneys who prepared the Will can help you with this, but you aren’t obligated to hire the original attorneys who prepared the Will for the deceased. After locating all the assets and determining their value, you will be responsible for distributing the assets according to the Will.
Let us help guide you through the New Jersey probate process
Make sure you and your loved ones receive the inheritance that was left for you. If you are left with a last will and testament and want an uncomplicated way to understand and execute all your duties, book a consultation with our probate attorneys in New Jersey today.