The Law Offices of Wenarsky and Goldstein, LLC: Your Probate Lawyer, New Jersey

Navigating probate matters in New Jersey? Our dedicated probate lawyers at the Law Offices of Wenarsky and Goldstein, LLC can help you navigate probable issues in New Jersey. Contact us today.

New Jersey Probate Attorney 

Navigating the legal complexities of probate in New Jersey can be a daunting task, particularly when grieving the loss of a loved one. Amidst the emotional turmoil, the practical aspects of handling finances, assets, and estate distribution can overwhelm even the most organized individuals. The probate process is crucial in addressing these matters, with an executor or administrator guiding the process.

However, the probate process in New Jersey is intricate and laden with potential legal pitfalls. In such instances, seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable probate lawyer becomes indispensable. The Law Office of Wenarsky & Goldstein, LLC, stands ready to provide guidance and support in navigating the probate and estate administration process in New Jersey.

We can offer insights into the roles of executors and administrators, the probate process itself, common legal issues that may arise, and the importance of securing competent legal representation during these challenging times. Whether you’re facing questions about asset inventory, debt settlement, or estate distribution, our experienced probate and estate administration lawyers are here to provide the assistance and advocacy you need.

What Is Probate?

Probate Law in New Jersey governs the verification and administration of a deceased person’s estate in court. Upon validation of a will, the appointed executor assumes responsibility for handling the deceased’s affairs, including managing the deceased person’s assets, settling debts and taxes, and distributing assets to the rightful heirs. New Jersey law dictates the estate administration process and determines the rightful heirs in cases where no will exists, known as dying intestate.

Do All Assets Go Through Probate?

According to the New Jersey survivorship law, property that is jointly owned, bank accounts payable-upon-death, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), other retirement accounts, or life insurance policies where a beneficiary is named aren’t required to go through probate administration. Additionally, if the decedent transferred their properties into a living trust, those assets need not go through probate.

The Probate Process in New Jersey

The executor designated in the deceased’s will begins the probate process. To probate a loved one’s will, the following is needed:

  • Original will
  • Death Certificate
  • Written probate request

The probate court will need the deceased’s information, a listing of assets, and the names and addresses of immediate family members. The probate process is as follows:

An Executor or Administrator Is Appointed

  • If named in the deceased’s will, the executor can request a formal appointment from the surrogate’s court within ten days of death.
  • It requires presenting the will, certified death certificate, and potentially witness testimony if the will isn’t self-proving.
  • Without a will or unwilling executor, the court appoints an administrator from one of the Jersey counties, typically prioritizing the surviving spouse or domestic partner.

Authority Is Granted:

  • Upon validation of the will, the probate court issues “Letters Testamentary” to the executor or “Letters of Administration” to the court-appointed administrator, granting them authority to:
    • Collect and inventory assets
    • Appraise assets if needed
    • Pay debts and taxes
    • Distribute remaining property according to the will or state lawyers

Notice and Compensation:

  • Within 60 days of probate, heirs and beneficiaries must be notified.
  • Executors or administrators are entitled to compensation based on estate income and value.

Estate Assets Are Handled:

  • A dedicated estate account is opened for consolidating cash assets.
  • Probate assets include vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, personal belongings, and certain life insurance proceeds.
  • Detailed records must be maintained, and an accounting may be required before probate closure.

Debts and Taxes Are Handled:

  • Paying valid debts and expenses is the executor’s responsibility.
  • An order limiting creditors can be sought to manage creditors’ claims.
  • State law prioritizes debt repayment, and legal advice may be needed if estate funds are insufficient.
  • Final income tax returns for the deceased and potentially the estate are required.

Inheritance and Distribution:

  • Assets can be distributed to inheritors only after debts and taxes are settled.
  • Checks for potential liabilities, like back child support, are performed before distribution.
  • The will or state law dictates inheritance distribution, typically favoring closest relatives.
  • Once all duties are fulfilled, the court relieves the executor or administrator of their responsibilities.

The Law Offices of Wenarsky & Goldstein, LLC, can help you with your probate needs.

How a Probate Lawyer Can Help You

Estate attorneys from the Law Offices of Wenarsky & Goldstein, LLC, manage the entire probate process efficiently and carefully. We can help you meet legal requirements for the distribution of assets, settling debts, and fulfilling your loved one’s final wishes. We can also assist you with related issues, such as the following:

  1. Estate Planning: Preparing for the future is essential. An estate attorney from our firm can create an estate plan to ensure your assets are distributed as intended.
  2. Will Contests and Disputes: If you believe there is a dispute over the validity of a will or have concerns about how an estate is being handled, our lawyers have experience in resolving such matters through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.
  3. Executor Assistance: Being named an executor is a significant responsibility. We can guide and support executors, helping them fulfill their duties efficiently and comply with the law.
  4. Estate Tax Planning: Minimizing estate taxes is crucial to estate planning. Our firm can help structure your estate to reduce the tax burden on your heirs.
  5. Guardianship and Conservatorship: We assist families in establishing guardianships and conservatorships to protect vulnerable individuals and meet financial and personal needs.

In addition to probate issues, our Law firm can assist you with wills, estates, trusts & guardianship, and asset protection planning matters.

The Law Offices of Wenarsky & Goldstein, LLC Can Handle Your Probate Law Case 

Losing a loved one is emotionally challenging. Dealing with all the legal aspects of their estate may be overwhelming. Our experienced probate attorneys are here to offer support, experience, and compassion during this difficult time.

Our probate attorneys have years of extensive experience handling probate and estate matters. We understand probate law and are well-equipped to handle even the most complicated cases empathetically, providing support and guidance.

We recognize each situation is different. Our lawyers work closely with you to develop customized legal strategies for your needs and goals.

We strive to expedite the probate process as much as possible, minimizing delays, and ensuring the timely distribution of assets.

If you require the assistance of a New Jersey probate lawyer, our firm can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation. Let our experienced legal team guide you in estate planning or probate. 

Call the Law Office of Wenarsky & Goldstein

At the Law Offices of Wenarsky & Goldstein, LLC, our New York and New Jersey attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in bankruptcy, estate planning and probate, guardianship, special needs planning, and real estate law. To learn more about how we can assist you with your legal needs, call us today at 973-453-2838.