All You Need to Know About Estate Administration in New Jersey

All You Need to Know About Estate Administration in New Jersey
Jan 5, 2024 Reading time : 4 min

In the state of New Jersey, the probate or estate administration procedures are very streamlined and affordable. As per state laws, a person has permission to act on behalf of a deceased person over their estate and will. Without the experienced help of an Estate Administration Attorney NJ, it might be impossible to discern if the procedure is simple or challenging. A probate procedure usually includes a will, but an estate administration proceeding does not.

The county Surrogate’s office, particularly in New Jersey, seeks to assist the New Jerseyans in avoiding the price of engaging an attorney for probate or estate administration. Still, for estates with several beneficiaries, families who don’t get along, or instances where a tax return must be submitted, the executor or administrator of the estate should speak with advisors as quickly as possible. An estate administration attorney in NJ is always required if a person has difficulty navigating the procedures or opposes the administration or probate of a will.

What does the New Jersey statute state? 

Title 3B, “Administration of Estates,” of the New Jersey Statute, covers areas such as court jurisdiction, wills, trusts, legal guardians, custodians (someone appointed by the court to manage the estate of another), fiduciaries (generally, the person handling or administering the trust or estate, implying authority and accountability), and other financial and accounting issues. An estate is the property of someone who dies or becomes incompetent.

Purpose of Estate Administration 

The main objective of estate administration is to gather and safeguard property and pay the bills, burial expenses, and all responsibilities of the estate, and then distribute what is left to those entitled to it under the will or by law. A fiduciary has broad discretion to manage, invest, collect rents from, pay taxes on, sell, lease, or mortgage properties, but the fiduciary must continuously operate in the best financial interest of the beneficiaries.

Executor of the Will: What Does It Mean?

The person who administers a will is the executor of the Will. An executor is competent and legally compelled to submit any appropriate tax reports, as well as in the process of transferring title to the property into the name of the estate and eventually to its new owners once they get their power to act in the form of Letters Testamentary and an Executor’s Short Certificate.

During this juncture, the executor must also determine whether the estate has any obligations and settle them if assets exist. 

Executor and Administrator: A Sharp Contrast 

The administrator of the estate, on the other hand, will almost always be required to post a bond (whether there is no Will or no named qualified executor). They will be given Letters of Administration and an Administrator’s Short Certificate, which they will utilize in the same way as an executor does. They are subject to the exact legal requirements as an executor. The distinction is that because they are linked, they must take specific further procedures to ensure that the Surrogate releases the bond. The administrator is not obliged to pay for the bond anymore.

An Attorney is Always a Must

If an estate is in the need to file a tax return, or if the representative of the estate is required to swear under oath about the contents of the estate, it is prudent to have a quick consultation with an estate administration attorney in NJ throughout the process to ensure that the representative does not inadvertently make a false statement and expose themselves to liability. Similarly, while issuing distributions from an estate, the representative is required by New Jersey law to conduct judgment searches on all heirs or incur personal accountability for the judgments.

In this kind of case and those in which a will is contested or family members do not get along, a lawyer may assist minimize stress and misinterpretation while preventing costly and time-consuming lawsuit that frequently serves only to break a family apart.

Samara Davis
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Samara Davis