Hiring a probate lawyer for assistance with probate Bergen County

Hiring a probate lawyer for assistance with probate Bergen County

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The probate lawyer and the probate process

When you die, you can’t take your property with you. Whatever you leave behind in your estate would have to be distributed among your surviving heirs, or those you’ve named as your beneficiaries in your will. Probate is the process that ensures that this is done, and that all debts, taxes and expenses left by the deceased are paid by the executor; and probate lawyers are specialized attorneys known for rendering professional assistance to the executor of a will or the administrator of the estate (in the absence of a valid will). A probate lawyer may also be appointed as an executor or administrator because of their skill and expertise in handling probate.

As an executor or administrator in Bergen County, you can seek the help of a probate lawyer

Probate Bergen County is often quite complex, tiresome and can drag on for years with a lot of hitches along the way. This is because the Uniform Probate Code is not in effect in Bergen County and the whole of New Jersey, so all the due processes of probate are carried out. However, a probate lawyer can mean the difference between a quick hitch-free probate and a lengthy complicated one. As an executor or estate administrator as the case may be, kindly contact the probate attorney Bergen County today.

a) Assistance of a probate lawyer in the presence of a valid will

It has been mentioned that probate Bergen County can be quite complex, but having a will can ensure that things proceed smoothly according to the wishes of the decedent. A probate attorney can even help in drafting the will or reviewing it to ensure it is valid and does not violate any of the requirements for writing a New Jersey will. A probate attorney may be appointed as the executor of the will by the testator. If some other person or institution is appointed, this executor can as well hire a probate lawyer to assist with carrying out their duties because there is so many legalities backing these duties, and mistakes or mismanagement of estate funds must be avoided at all cost.

The probate attorney will advise and assist the executor on the following duties:

  • Filing of necessary documents to be submitted in the Surrogate’s Court
  • Notifying the relatives of the deceased about the commencement of probate
  • Collecting life insurance proceeds, interests, stocks, and every income generated by the estate of the decedent
  • Valuating (appraising) the worth of the total assets in the estate
  • Ensuring these assets are secured and appropriately managed
  • Determining if estate taxes and debts are owed, their value, and the credibility of creditors
  • Payment of estate bills, taxes and debts from the estate account
  • Disbursing whatever is left of the estate to the beneficiaries named in the will.

Will contests

There can be instances where interested parties may “contest the will” during probate. If a party feels cheated out of the estate’s wealth, or believe the testator to have been unduly influenced by a mischievous or greedy party. Contesting a will is legal, and a probate attorney should be hired by the interested parties to oversee the process.

b) Assistance of a probate lawyer in the absence of a valid will

When an individual dies without leaving a will or estate plan, or the will is invalid, the person is said to have died intestate. In such a case, their estate will be administered according to intestacy laws of Bergen County. Since there is no will and no executor, the court becomes responsible for appointing a personal representative known as an estate administrator. The functions of an estate administrator are the same with those of the executor; i.e valuating assets, paying estate expenses and taxes, distributing asset to heirs, etc. A probate attorney may be appointed as the administrator; a probate attorney may also be hired by the administrator.

Under intestacy in New Jersey, the heirs of a deceased are the spouse and kids. If these are non-existent, then the estate goes to the parents or grandparents.

Applying for the status of an estate administrator

If you desire to be the administrator, you must first obtain documents known as “renunciations” from the relatives. A probate attorney will help ensure that these documents are filed correctly, and would also assist you carry out your duties. Contact a probate attorney near you.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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