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Our experienced estate and probate attorneys can help you to manage the estate of a loved one who has passed away. When a person passes away, they die either testate or intestate. Both scenarios require the estate to be administered, but each one provides different options for an executor.
To die intestate is to pass away without having a valid will. The distribution of your estate will be based on the default rules established by your state. You might expect that when you pass, 100% of your estate automatically passes to your surviving spouse. In New Jersey, this is not always the case. In some cases your spouse will receive a fraction of your estate and your other family members may receive the rest. Contact our estate planning attorneys to help avoid this scenario.
To die testate is to pass away with a valid will. You can control the distribution of your estate by having a will prepared for you that distributes your assets to whom you wish and in the manner that you wish. You can make choices regarding your assets that don’t match the state’s default rules. Contact our estate planning attorneys to prepare your estate plan now.
Whether your loved one died testate or intestate, our attorneys can help you navigate the administration of the estate. First we’ll work with you to identify the probate and non-probate assets of the estate.
Most probate assets are those that are solely owned and do not have a named beneficiary. Classic examples of probate assets are automobiles, personal property and closely held business interests.
Non-probate assets are jointly owned or have a named beneficiary. As a result, the asset transfers to the joint owner or the beneficiary without any effort by the executor of the estate. Classic examples of non-probate assets are homes owned with a surviving spouse, retirement accounts and bank accounts.
After identifying the assets, our estate attorneys will work with you to distribute the assets according to the state default rules or the valid will. Additionally, our attorneys will work with an executor to prepare the necessary estate and inheritance tax returns as well as any accountings that may be necessary.
For more information or to set up an estate administration consultation, please call 908-735-5161 or call 908-735-5161, or fill out the contact form on this site. With offices in Clinton Township (Annandale) and Bridgewater, our firm serves clients throughout central and northwestern New Jersey.