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estate administration & probate Archives

Understanding probate for estate planning purposes

Probate is a complicated legal process that can take time and legal knowledge to get through. It can be beneficial to readers of this New Jersey estate planning blog to discuss their probate questions with attorneys who are familiar with their estate planning needs. This post may be read as information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Laws of intestacy in New Jersey

Intestate succession is a complicated area of estate administration law. It becomes applicable to the estate of a deceased individual when that person passes away without having first executed a valid will. As our readers in New Jersey may know, a will is a legal document that a person may use to identify beneficiaries who will receive items of the decedent's property once they have passed on.

New Jersey residents do not have to face probate alone

Being selected as the executor of a loved one's estate is an honor, but it also comes with responsibilities. Even though the probate process in New Jersey is not as complex as the probate process is in other states, costly mistakes can be made by those who are unfamiliar with it.

Can certain assets bypass the probate process entirely?

In New Jersey, when a person dies, his or her estate generally must go through the probate process before the assets can be distributed to the person's heirs either per the terms of the person's will or through the state laws of intestacy should the person die without a will. Many people wish to avoid probate, as it can be a time-consuming and costly process that could potentially reduce the size of a person's estate. However, it is important to note that certain assets are exempt from being probated.

Those chosen as executors of an estate may seek legal help

Being selected to serve as the executor of a loved one's estate is certainly an honor, but it also comes with responsibilities. Moreover, many people in New Jersey aren't very familiar with the probate process. And, while probate in New Jersey is not as complicated as it is in other states, if mistakes are made they could end up being very costly.

Music legend Aretha Franklin dies without an estate plan

The music legend and "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16 of pancreatic cancer. While this is certainly a blow to music fans in New Jersey and worldwide, it is also blow to her loved ones left behind, in part because Franklin did not have an estate plan at the time of her death.

When can a person's estate bypass administration in New Jersey?

When a loved one dies and was married at the time of his or her death, his or her surviving spouse will be dealing with a lot emotionally. What the surviving spouse may be unprepared for is the time and expense administering the deceased's estate will take. However, if the value of the deceased's estate is small enough and if other elements are met, it may be possible to bypass administration of the estate (probate).

There may be ways to bypass the probate process in New Jersey

Sometimes people in New Jersey pass away without having created a will, meaning they died "intestate." This might be because they passed away unexpectedly, or they simply put off the process of creating a will until it was too late. Others in New Jersey may have executed a will, but do not have any other documents in their estate plan that will pass on their assets to their chosen heirs. When a person in New Jersey dies intestate or when they only have a will, their estate will be probated.

What happens to a person's debts after their death?

Many people in Parsippany carry some type of debt these days. Debt can take many forms: a home loan, an auto loan, credit card debt or student loan debt, to name a few. Most people will do what they can to pay off their debts during their lifetime. However, sometimes this simply doesn't happen and a person passes away before all their debts are paid off. When this happens, will the debtor's survivors be obligated to make good on the debts owed?

What are the duties of an executor in estate administration?

Whether appointed in a person's will or appointed by the court, being the executor of a person's estate in New Jersey after that person dies is certainly an honor, but it is also a big responsibility. It can be a confusing time, especially if one has never served as the executor of an estate before, so it can help for an executor to carry out their duties with the assistance of an attorney experienced in estate administration and probate.

J. Jeffrey Press, P.A.
8 Wood Hollow Road
Plaza Level - Suite 2A
Parsippany, NJ 07054

Phone: 973-323-2654
Fax: 973-288-2070
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