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Estate Administration Lawyers in NJ & PA

Simplifying Complex Estate Issues So You Can Focus on What’s Important

The death of a loved one is never a simple endeavor. At a time when family members should be grieving, they typically find themselves having to make funeral and burial arrangements. Unfortunately, this is not where the difficulties end. When a person passes on, their estate must be administered. This is often done in probate — which itself is a complex process. Fortunately, estate administration lawyers in NJ and PA may be able to help.

At Bratton Law Group, our legal team is here to assist you during these trying times. We’ve seen the difficult situations that can arise during probate and administration, and we know that avoiding such issues can greatly simplify matters for survivors. Our goal is to streamline the entire process, but if disputes arise, we can represent your best interests and advocate for a beneficial outcome on your behalf.

Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.

Why Do You Need an Estate Administration Attorney?

Estate administration lawyers very frequently play a critical role in managing the important legal aspects of settling a deceased individual’s estate. They can help you navigate complex legal processes — along with proper interpretation and execution of estate planning documents. These are the obvious benefits of working with a legal professional, but many people fail to recognize the other advantages:

  • Identification and valuation of assets
  • Debt settlement and dealing with creditor claims
  • Resolving disputes among beneficiaries
  • Minimizing tax liabilities
  • Handling complex estates
  • Protecting executors from personal liability
  • Ensuring that state laws are followed
  • Providing peace of mind

Working with a PA and NJ estate administration lawyer clearly has a multitude of benefits. These legal professionals are experienced in matters of estate law, and this means you won’t have to waste time figuring out legalities and necessary procedures. Rather than spending your time researching and submitting documents, you can focus on your family and other issues that matter the most.

By working with an estate administration attorney, you can also reduce the risk of common probate and administration issues.

What Issues Can Arise During Estate Administration?

In a perfect world, estate administration would be a straightforward and simple process. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world that we live in. Even when there’s a valid will in place, it’s possible that disputes and other issues could arise regarding a loved one’s estate. Understanding the following possibilities will make it clear why working with an estate administration lawyer in PA and NJ is critical:

  • Disputes over the validity of estate planning documents
  • Disagreements between beneficiaries regarding important decisions
  • Unclear and ambiguous estate planning documents
  • Legal challenges and litigation
  • Complex (e.g., business interests) or unusual (e.g., cryptocurrency) assets
  • Family dynamics and interpersonal conflicts
  • Tax issues
  • Creditor claims
  • Executor or trustee misconduct

If you’re lucky, none of these problems will arise during estate administration. However, even the most in-depth estate planning will not necessarily prevent possible disputes. This is why it’s critical for you to work with an estate administration attorney. Even for simple estates where issues are clear and straightforward, a legal professional can handle the complex legal requirements so you can focus on other important matters.

At Bratton Law Group, we’re here to help.

Is It Possible to Avoid Probate in New Jersey or Pennsylvania?

When surviving family members find themselves dealing with probate issues, they invariably ask, “Could this have been avoided?” Even with proper estate planning, it’s often the case that an estate will need to go through probate to ensure administration complies with state law. However, there are a variety of ways to keep certain assets out of probate, simplify the process, or potentially avoid it altogether.

These include:

  • Beneficiary designations: Many types of accounts (e.g., banking and retirement) let owners designate a beneficiary who will gain assets after the owner’s death.
  • Revocable living trust: Various types of trusts — including a revocable living trust — can transfer assets to beneficiaries after a person’s death without the need for probate.
  • Joint ownership and rights of survivorship: Property held jointly will go to the surviving owner upon the other person’s death as long as rights of survivorship exist.
  • Gifting: People have the option to gift assets during their lifetime to keep them out of probate upon their death.
  • Transfer of ownership: Certain assets can be passed on using mechanisms such as beneficiary or transfer-on-death deeds.
  • Small estate affidavits: Some states offer the chance to avoid regular probate for smaller estates that meet certain requirements.

These estate planning strategies are some of the easiest ways to simplify or even eliminate the need for probate. However, keep in mind that simple mistakes can be costly. Even when steps are taken to avoid probate, common errors could result in the need to hire a PA and NJ estate administration attorney. Therefore, consider speaking with an estate planning lawyer today if you want to simplify issues for your loved ones when you’re gone.

Contact Our Estate Administration Lawyers in PA and NJ Today

Losing a loved one is something you can never get used to. Unfortunately, such loss is only the beginning of difficulties for many people. Even in straightforward cases where there’s a valid and clear will in place, administering assets is a complex process governed by the laws of the states. Fortunately, this isn’t something you have to figure out yourself. An experienced attorney can prove invaluable during this time.

At Bratton Law Group, our NJ and PA estate administration lawyers are here to assist. We can help settle creditor debts, distribute assets to heirs, represent beneficiaries during legal disputes, and assist with any other estate matters. After losing a loved one, you should be able to focus on grieving and moving forward — and our law firm is here to assist in that endeavor. Contact us at (856) 644-4283 to schedule your confidential consultation today.