Blog: Probate & Estate Administration

  • Navigating the New Jersey Probate Process: A Step-by-Step Guide
    When a loved one passes away, navigating the legal landscape of probate can be a daunting task. In New Jersey, the probate process is a critical step in ensuring that the deceased's assets are distributed according to their wishes and legal requirements. This guide aims to demystify the probate process in New Jersey, providing a clear, step-by-step approach to help you through this challenging time. Step 1: Understanding Probate Probate is the legal process of...
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  • How does the probate process start?
    People in New Jersey may have wills or they may not when they pass away. Whether they have a will or not though does not change the fact that most of the time administration of their estate needs to go through probate. This is the legal process that allows people to transfer the property of the deceased to beneficiaries and pay any creditors they owed at the time of their death. If people did have...
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  • What happens in probate court?
    The estates of New Jersey residents who die without a will must go through the probate process. Concerns about the cost and length of the probate process are common, and many people may also have concerns about what happens at probate hearings. If you die without a will, a probate court must decide who gets your assets, and how any of your debts will be paid. Your assets are distributed to heirs in accordance with...
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  • Probate and the current issues with the probate system
    When it comes to the administration of an estate plan in New Jersey and elsewhere, individuals often believe that probate is something to avoid. While many will consider ways to avoid probate when drafting and updating an estate plan, the reality is that probate is not always avoidable. Moreover, probate is essentially not a bad thing to go through. Nonetheless, the probate system is not perfect and could be fixed to benefit many individuals throughout...
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  • How can I avoid probate in New Jersey?
    When a person dies in New Jersey, and they have a will, their estate enters Probate Court. Probate is a concern for many estate planners. Planners seek to avoid it for a variety of reasons, including the fees and the lack of privacy it affords. Thankfully, New Jersey residents have a variety of ways to avoid probate court. Revocable trusts A revocable trust is an effective way to avoid probate. All assets transferred into the...
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  • The basics on New Jersey’s probate process
    Your parents have always been a source of guidance and wisdom but once they pass away you may be left in charge of probating their estate, something you have never done before. It is natural to be confused by the New Jersey probate process. If your parents left a will naming you as executor or if they died without a will and the court appointed you as administrator, you must ensure the estate is properly...
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  • Beneficiaries may be able to alter who gets what
    Sometimes will are contested. An individual may believe that the will of the deceased does not accurately reflect their true wishes, due to the undue influence of another or they lacked the capacity to properly express their true wishes. Often, this takes the form of a beneficiary bringing the challenge, in an attempt to alter the will’s terms. But there is another avenue that does not involve the confrontation of a formal challenge. A meeting...
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  • Did your loved one have capacity when creating an estate plan?
    A lot of people wait until the last minute to create or modify an estate plan. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with doing so, it does leave the door open to some legal issues that can linger for a significant period of time to come. In these circumstances, your estate or the estate of a loved one could end up facing validity challenges which, depending on how they turn out, can completely reshape asset distribution...
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  • When can people challenge a will in probate?
    There are few guarantees in life for people in New Jersey, however, one of them is that people will continue to grow older and eventually they will pass away. It is not something people like to think about all the time, but it is going to happen and it is important that people plan for it. People cannot bring their belongings with them when they pass and they generally want their property to end up...
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  • Consider these issues before becoming an executor
    Being selected as an estate executor may be an honor. Before accepting this position, however, you should understand the important probate and estate administration duties that executors must perform. The estate Executors act on behalf of the testator who signed the will and handle all the testator’s financial and other final arrangements. New Jersey law also governs these duties. Regardless of the estate’s size, you must determine whether you have the time and knowledge to...
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Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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