Probate Attorney in Howell, New Jersey
Losing a loved one is always devastating. Navigating the complexities of the legal system after such a loss can make a bad situation considerably worse. Though they may have done so with the best of intentions, being named executor or appointed administrator of a loved one’s estate can represent a tremendous logistical burden, especially when you are still mourning and may not be familiar with the ins and outs of the process.
Legal Assistance You Need
The team at Fedoroff Firm LLC can give you the legal assistance you need when navigating probate. Attorney Fedoroff has a complete understanding of the machinations of probate in New Jersey and can serve as your guide through every step of the process. She can simplify what can be a daunting responsibility through advice, empathy, and personalized attention.
The Probate Process
Our lawyer can guide you through each step of the probate process, including:
Initiating probate with the appropriate court. To begin probate, you will have to file the appropriate paperwork with the local court serving the jurisdiction where your loved one lived at the time of their passing.
Locating and validating the will. Hopefully, your loved one will have left a last will and testament that, among other things, names you as executor. The court will attempt to validate the will – that is, recognize it as legitimate – and field any objections to its authenticity. If there is no will (or the named executor is not available), the court will instead appoint an administrator, which serves the same function of managing the estate during probate.
Notifying heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors. The personal representative is responsible for tracking down and contacting all relevant and interested parties who have business with the deceased person. This includes naming any immediate heirs and beneficiaries that are named in the will. (If there is no will, immediate family members are typically contacted instead.) Any creditors must also be contacted and given the opportunity to request payment for any outstanding obligations.
Inventorying and appraising assets. The personal representative must conduct a thorough review of the deceased person's holdings and possessions and create an exhaustive inventory to be assessed by the court. This will likely include appraising certain assets, including real estate property, which the personal representative is also responsible for facilitating.
Settling debts and filing taxes. Creditors have a right to be repaid before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. If there was not sufficient funding set aside to settle any remaining obligations, certain property may need to be sold to cover debts.
Distributing assets. Once obligations to creditors have been met, the personal representative can distribute assets in accordance with the deceased person's final wishes. Should there be no valid will, assets will instead be distributed in accordance with New Jersey’s intestacy laws, which prioritize property being given to immediate family members.
Managing obstacles and closing the estate. After debts have been paid and assets distributed, the personal representative offers a full report of their actions to the probate court, after which the estate can be considered “closed.” Attorney Fedoroff can help you navigate any obstacles that you encounter throughout the process and help you complete all necessary documentation.
Howell, New Jersey Probate Attorney
You can have an ally in the difficult time that follows the passing of a loved one. With compassion and understanding, the firm will bring a sense of calm to your time of turmoil. You do not have to face complex matters of probate alone, and together, Attorney Fedoroff can move through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible.