Do you know how the New Jersey probate process works? Probate is the name for the process when someone’s will is proved in a court of law. During probate, a judge must accept the will as a valid legal document, as well as the true testament of the person who has passed away.
In this article, we’ll discuss what the probate process includes in the state of New Jersey, and if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our estate planning attorneys in Fairfield, NJ.
The six basic steps of the probate process
- Validating the will. Before anything can happen with the deceased’s estate, the court must rule that the will is a valid legal document and that it represents the true wishes of the deceased. You’ve probably heard about wills being contested in court, and this is why it’s important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. It will decrease the likelihood that any contentions should hold up the process.
- Appointing an executor. Most people appoint an executor for their will before they pass away, but if for some reason they haven’t, the decision is often left to the court. The executor is the person who ensures the estate is distributed exactly as the deceased intended it to be.
- Taking inventory of the estate. All assets must be accounted for, including bank accounts, properties, cars, businesses, and any other extraneous assets included within the will.
- Paying the claims against the estate. If someone makes a claim against the estate of someone who has passed away, it means they believe they’re owed something that wasn’t explicitly stated in the will. These claims must be addressed and paid if they’re found to be valid.
- Paying all estate taxes. Taxes incurred will depend on the size of the estate, and an experienced estate planning attorney can let you know what to expect in regards to your unique situation.
- Distributing any remaining assets. Once the above steps have been successfully completed, it’s time to distribute the remaining assets in the estate.
As we mentioned above, if you have any questions about estate planning or the ins and outs of the New Jersey probate process, please contact our team at SCC Legal today at: https://www.scclegal.com/