Most people only serve as the administrator of an estate once or maybe twice in their lifetime. This means there is a steep learning curve for most estate administrators, and these unfamiliar tasks often bring on high levels of stress and anxiety. This is especially true if the deceased was a close friend or family member. It can be extremely difficult to focus on questions of law and accounting while in the early days of mourning the loss of a loved one.
However, you do not need to handle this process alone. You can always get help from an estate administration attorney in Linwood at Bratton Law. Our estate administration team understands your struggle. We have lawyers, social workers, and a registered nurse who can support you and guide you through the New Jersey estate administration process. Our team offers the level of help every client needs, walking them through the tasks necessary as the executor of a will or the administrator of an estate.
You can reach our office today at 856-857-6007. Set up a consultation with our team to see how we can help you with the process of dealing with your legal and financial tasks while you take the time to mourn your friend or family member.
What Do I Need to Know as an Estate Administrator in Linwood, NJ?
The law tasks the administrator of an estate with a number of important actions following the death of the owner of the estate. This includes paying any final bills, determining the value of any assets, calculating the tax burden, and distributing any remaining assets. The difficulty of these tasks can vary from quick and clear-cut to extremely complex and costly.
In all but the simplest estates, you may need to call on the help of not only a lawyer but also an accountant and an appraiser. We can connect you with the resources you need to handle your loved one’s final affairs, reducing your stress and helping you feel confident in the choices you make.
Our attorneys will guide you through the process of probating a will and checking off the tasks required during estate administration. At the same time, our social workers and other team members will offer you the compassionate support you need during such a trying time.
What Do I Need to Know About the NJ Probate Process?
New Jersey probate laws can be complex. The process itself is not complicated, but it can be difficult to know when you need to probate a will and how to begin this process. Our lawyers understand New Jersey probate laws, and can help you determine whether you must enter the will in question into probate. If so, this step is necessary before you can move forward with other estate administration tasks.
The purpose of entering a will into probate is to ensure the will is authentic. The probate process reduces fraud and serves as a safeguard to reduce the instances of litigation stemming from estate disputes. New Jersey law does not require all wills go into probate. This includes situations where the deceased left a living spouse and they shared all assets.
If the will does require admittance to probate, we will walk you through the process. The probate process seems intimidating, although we strive to allay any fears or nervousness you may have.
To probate a will, you will need to make an appointment with the local Surrogate’s Court or visit during office hours. There, the Surrogate or an approved clerk will sign off on the will. Usually, this “court” takes place in the Surrogate’s office or another government office, and you are unlikely to need to make an actual court appearance in this matter.
The approval process is usually quick and painless. Most modern wills are self-proving. This means all the Surrogate needs to do is look at the will and ensure the deceased signed it, there were witnesses, and a notary approved it. This is enough to authenticate the will. If there is a situation where you need to provide evidence to establish the authenticity of the signature, we can help you gather it before your appointment.
How Can Bratton Law Help Me with Necessary NJ Estate Administration Services?
The services provided by Bratton Law estate administration team goes far beyond assisting estate administrators with their required tasks. We can handle almost any snag you hit in the process of entering a will into probate, serving as the executor of a will, or performing your estate administration duties. And through it all, we provide every client and their family with the support and guidance they need to manage the emotional aspects of sorting through their loved one’s estate.
We can provide you with the resources and knowledge to settle all types of estates, such as high-value estates or those with unique or hard to locate assets. We have a full team of lawyers, social workers, and other support staff dedicated to making it easier for each client to perform his duties as an executor or administrator.
We dedicate ourselves to meeting each client where he is in the process, and providing him with the level of support and guidance he needs. Some people only want a step-by-step do-it-yourself guide to the tasks ahead of them, and we can provide them with this support while allowing them to navigate the process on their own.
On the other hand, some of our clients do not want to worry about the complicated tasks required of an estate administrator. We can manage this entire start to finish, shouldering all the burden and ensuring we complete all tasks along the way. We have the resources to call on any necessary accountants, appraisers, and tax experts throughout this process.
Calculating and Managing Estate Taxes
Understanding the tax burden is one part of the process that often trips up estate administrators. It is difficult to keep up with the ever-changing laws, and almost impossible to calculate the right amount without an attorney on your side. We can explain the implications of each financial decision you make, and guide you through the process to ensure your decisions leave those who inherit assets with the least tax burden possible. We can explain how any applicable state, federal estate, or inheritance taxes might affect the process.
Planned Giving and Trusts
High-asset estates that involve planned giving pledges and funding trusts can be complicated, especially if you have never acted as an estate administrator. There are specific steps you must take to properly fund trusts, and this process is not always intuitive.
Planned giving pledges are even more complicated, but we can help you with all related tasks, as well as filing the paperwork required to notify the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office of any charitable giving from an estate.
Modern wills and the probate process reduce the risk of estate disputes; however, sometimes a family member or friend will challenge the process. This challenge may involve the authenticity of the will, your ability to perform the proper estate administration duties, or other legal concerns about the process.
While we do everything we can to avoid estate disputes, these arguments sometimes occur and often even pit one family member against another in court. If you find yourself in this situation, we will represent you aggressively, defending you against any allegations of impropriety or inability to handle the tasks at hand.
Speak to a Bratton Law Estate Administration Attorney Today
The team at Bratton Law represents executors and estate administrators in Linwood and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 856-857-6007 to make an appointment.