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What is Probate Law?

New Jersey Probate – Probate in New Jersey

If you are currently in a situation where you’ll be dealing with the New Jersey state court system in relation to a probate or estate related matter, or if you think that you will be in this kind of situation in the near future, it is important that you hire an attorney that knows the ins and outs of New Jersey probate law.

Probate law has to do with the handling of an estate when someone, such as a family member or other loved one, passes away.  These are the laws that make sure that the creditors are paid properly and that assets are distributed to the “heirs,” or the descendant. When you find yourself  in a situation where you’ll be dealing with probate law, it’s a good idea to already have in mind what you are going to need to do.

What exactly is Probate? Probate is a legal process that begins with a “petition” (a request) to open the estate and name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased’s property. The next step is when an official Notice of Creditors is printed in a local newspaper and Notice of Administration is sent to other involved parties. Creditors then have a set amount of time to file their claims from the first date of publication. Then the personal representative can pay the debt and distribute the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed.

While on one hand, this may sound simple, probate law and the handling of estates is in fact a complex system, which presents you with multiple requirements and tasks to be preformed by the personal representative, an experienced attorney and a tax consultant. For example, an estate including only a single house and single bank account that has been left to a single beneficiary will probably be a far easier and quicker process to deal with than an estate containing multiple houses that are located in various states, and that are left to multiple beneficiaries. This becomes especially difficult if an estate includes leaving assets to a minor.

Probate Law in New Jersey

There are some parts of the New Jersey  State Probate system that are essential to understand in order to have a successful probate process. First, you are going to need to know how the procedure works. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Without knowing how the procedure works, you are likely to make a mistake that will cause a delay and require you to repeat processes and/or resubmit documents.

An “instrument” (document) that shows interest in the estate is important to know about as well; especially with respect to the deadlines that come with it. Also, the devolution (handing over) of property upon the death the decedent is essential. You’ll want to understand how the property and assets are to be distributed, and what processes are necessary for that distribution to come about.

Finally, if you’re dealing with the New Jersey State Probate system, you must know about Wills and how incorporations into them can take place, by way of reference. This is important for people constructing Wills as well as people probating an estate where a Will with an incorporated reference has been presented. It is clear that New Jersey State Probate procedures are not to be taken lightly. They require legal expertise, which is one of the reasons why so many people nowadays hire attorneys for such matters.

There are two main factors that play an important role in New Jersey State Probate procedures. The first factor is the professional, legal handling of documents. Writing and reading legal documents is not an easy thing to do. The language is often difficult and complex, which is why attorneys often play the role of interpreter for people dealing with New Jersey State Probate. Furthermore, the state sets standards that will need to be followed. When they are not followed, people face penalties that can set back their cases, or even exclude them from participating in the probate process.

The second factor is the limitation of time of the delivery of certain documents, such as affidavits, waivers, inventories and requests, among others. When these documents are not presented or delivered within the period of time set by the State of New Jersey, there are penalties that must be faced. One way to avoid problems like these is to have an attorney on your side, who can help you stay ahead of the process and be prepared for whatever you may need to do.

In the State of New Jersey, an “instrument” (document) that states someone’s interest in an estate must be filed within nine months after the death of the decedent. This is essential for a successful probate process, because if this time limitation is not abided by, you could end up facing harsh penalties that could prevent you from participating in the process.

You will also  want to make sure that you’re clear on how the devolution of property, upon the death of the decedent, works in the State of New Jersey. This property is distributed to those who are stated in the Will of the decedent, and also to those people approved by the court. This means that the legal procedure is an essential contributing factor to the devolution of property, and for this reason, should be clearly understood by anyone participating in the New Jersey State Probate process.

There is a specific way that this property is to be distributed among the decedent’s heirs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to understand how that works.  This can be a complex piece of probate law that people often have difficulty with. Again, a person with a legal background would be able to help clarify this process.

People taking part in the New Jersey State Probate system are going to want to know all about Wills, given that Wills are principle documents in the probating of decedents’ estates. One of the important facets of a Will at the time of probate is that they may incorporate other documents by explicitly referencing them.  This is important, seeing that it may require the presentation of multiple documents to the court, in order to advance in the probate process.

A last Will can incorporate another document by identifying the other document sufficiently in the eyes of the court. For this reason, it’s essential to know what the court will require of the Will and of the incorporated document, in terms of the possibility to identify the reference.

As you can see, handling Probate laws is not an easy thing to go through or deal with, which is one of the many reasons why it’s often a good idea to hire an attorney experienced in the field of  New Jersey State Probate law to help you with the matter. Having an attorney on your side will help you make sure that the estate and assets of your loved one’s particular case are handled in a proper and legal fashion.

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