What is Estate Administration?
Estate Administration is the process by which the estate’s Executor or Administrator identifies and collects the assets, pays the decedent’s bills and taxes, settles claims, sells property, and ultimately, provides an accounting to the heirs and distributes the net assets according to the Will or according to the law of intestacy (if there is no Will). To ensure that the Estate and Inheritance Tax returns (if required) are filed properly and the deceased’s assets are distributed correctly, it is important to have experienced management and guidance.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process by which a Will is filed with the County Surrogate after death so that the Executor can be appointed. In new Jersey, the probate procedure is swift and is generally uncomplicated. Once the Executor is appointed, his/her work can begin.
What is an Estate Administrator?
When a person dies without a will (Intestate), an Administrator must be appointed for the estate. The process can require other kin to sign “renunciations” so that the Surrogate can appoint the individual who is applying for this authorization.
How does the Law Firm help me to carry out my responsibilities?
Whether you are the Executor or the Administrator, we provide you with the specific advice you need concerning the legal and procedural issues that apply to the particular estate you are administering. We guide you through this process in an orderly way to help you fulfill your obligations to the creditors and the beneficiaries, and we help you to manage the burdensome details. Our knowledge and experience enables us to handle the many complicated matters that often arise unexpectedly with estate administration, particularly if real estate, trusts or discordant family relationships are involved. Recognized for their extensive experience, our Estate attorneys are also appointed by the courts as guardians, trustees or administrators.
The estate administration process should go swiftly and smoothly if it is done carefully. It is generally advisable to consult with an attorney and to have one available to help you along the way. See our article 14 Steps for Understanding Wills and Probate in Estate Administration.