Estate administration requires several specialized skills, or at least knowing who to turn to when you need help. Administering an estate, especially in the weeks after losing a family member or close friend, can be an especially stressful experience. Even if you have the resources to handle the appraisals, accounting, and tax questions on your own, it is doubtful you will feel confident in your abilities.
The bottom line is, most people have never been through this process before. This is where we come in. Our team of attorneys work with estate law and estate administration every day. An estate administration lawyer in Cape May, NJ at Bratton Estate and Elder Care Attorneys can walk with you through the entire process, taking it step-by-step and explaining everything you can expect along the way.
Call our office today at (856) 857-6007 to get started.
Our Cape May Estate Administration Team Will Manage the Process for You
The thought of administering an estate is overwhelming to many people. There are various tasks involved, and they vary from the mundane to the mind-boggling. Some of them require specialized knowledge, or at least excellent research skills. Some of the tasks the administrator of a will must complete include:
- Entering the will into probate, if necessary
- Paying the deceased’s final bills and other debts
- Identifying all assets, whether included in the will or not
- Appraising or otherwise assigning a value to all assets
- Understanding any applicable taxes, determining how to minimize them, and calculating the tax burden
- Paying any applicable taxes
- Distributing the remaining assets
- Handling any other provisions included in the will
As you can see, the administrator of an estate may need to know quite a few things before they can get to work. This includes:
- New Jersey probate laws
- Resources for appraising specific collections or other assets
- Basic and more complex accounting tasks
- State and federal tax laws
Our team can not only answer these questions for you, but also handle the whole process. If you hand the legal and financial work over to our attorneys, we can provide you with guidance and support while you focus on mourning your lost friend or family member.
Even when we cannot handle a task on our own — appraising a relative’s prized wine collection, for example — we will work closely with a team of professionals who can get the job done. We can handle even high net worth estates, and have accountants standing by to help us if necessary.
Our Cape May, NJ Estate Administration Services
No matter where you are in the estate administration process, we can meet you there and help you work through any issue you encounter. We are intimately familiar with every step of the process and can help you confidently move forward with administering the estate. This may include entering the will into probate, acting as the executor of a will, or managing the entire estate administration process. We know this is a stressful and emotional process, and we provide not only practical advice but also compassionate support.
We offer a full menu of estate administration and probate services in Cape May and throughout New Jersey. Depending on your unique needs, this could include:
- Helping you understand your responsibilities and obligations
- Helping you locate an appropriate appraiser
- Compiling the value of assets
- Explaining tax implications based on your decisions
- Filing any applicable state or federal inheritance tax forms
- Funding trusts established by the estate plan
- Managing charitable gifts
- Handling mandatory reporting of charitable gifts
- Representing you if any conflicts occur over the estate
We can help you answer even the toughest questions and navigate the most complex estates. We will work to reduce the chances of disputes and may be able to help you avoid litigation if a dispute occurs over the estate.
What You Can Expect from the Probate Process
Probate Is Nothing to Fear
Many estate administrators fear the probate process, and hope to avoid entering the will into probate if possible. Truth be told, they have most likely heard horror stories from other states, where probate can take ages and cost thousands. The bottom line is that many wills do require probate in New Jersey. However, this is not a process you need to fear.
Unless the person who passed away shared all their assets with their spouse or had every single asset in a trust, you will probably need to probate the will. In New Jersey, this process simply validates the will and officially names you as the administrator of the estate. New Jersey charges by the page to probate a will, so even the will for a high asset estate can be relatively cheap to probate.
A Self-Proving Will Can Speed Up the Process
Most modern wills are self-proving. This means you will only have to visit the county Surrogate’s Office and have them check to see that the proper signatures and the notary stamp are on the document. The Surrogate or their clerk will sign off on it and accept your payment, and the probate process is complete.
If you have questions about whether the will in your case is self-proving, have other concerns, or need help navigating the probate process, give us a call. We can address your concerns and take care of entering the will into probate it for you.
Talk to An Estate Administration Attorney in Cape May, NJ
Bratton Estate and Elder Care Attorneys works closely with estate administrators who have questions or concerns about their role as executor. We can provide the level of support and guidance you need, and even manage the process for you. Call us at (856) 857-6007 to make an appointment today.