When an individual passes away, family members are often left with the task of settling their loved one’s estate. The executor or administrator may have many obligations and responsibilities to fulfill to help settle the estate, which can feel overwhelming. The process of probate and estate administration can raise many legal and procedural questions, and the bereaved should be sure to get sound, reliable advice. We guide our clients through the estate administration process and help them fulfill their duties with as little stress and difficulty as possible.
Gently guiding the bereaved through the probate process. Over 40 years of combined experience with probate & estate litigation in New Jersey.
We explain the probate process, how to handle the various assets of the estate, and what reporting will need to be done.
Our team of caring professionals offer advice and guidance in the probate process.
We will assist the bereaved in whatever capacity is needed, at any point in the probate process.
After the initial consult, the bereaved may choose to probate the estate on their own, they may have us work with the Executors and Administrations on select items, or they may have us manage/administer the entire process.
- Just grieve. Nothing can be done until at least 10 days have passed since the person’s death.
- Gather necessary documents. First, ascertain whether the decedent executed a Last Will and Testament. Gather necessary documents. If there is not a Will, that does not mean that you do not need to involve the Surrogate’s Court, it just means that the estate administration process will be slightly different. Second, you will need an original death certificate. Finally, you will need to complete a probate fact sheet, which will be provided by the Surrogate’s Office.
- Seek appointment of executor or administrator by the Surrogate’s Court from the county in which the decedent lived at the time of death. If the decedent had a Will, then it is considered a “testate estate.” If the decedent died without a Will, then it is considered an “intestate estate.” Upon qualification, the Surrogate will issue either Letters Testamentary (testate estate) or Letters of Administration (intestate estate). These Letters will authorize the Executor or Administrator to act on behalf of the estate.
- Administer the estate. The responsibilities of an Executor or an Administrator are to collect and safeguard the estate’s assets, to pay the debts of the decedent, to file and pay any estate/inheritance/income taxes that are due, and then ultimately to make distributions per the Last Will and Testament, or pursuant to the laws of intestacy, if there is no Will. Prior to receiving their inheritance, the beneficiaries will have to either request or waive an accounting (which would also be the responsibility of the Executor or Administrator) and sign a Refunding Bond and Release, which protects the Executor or Administrator from liability against later claims against the estate.
Why Manes & Weinberg, LLC?
- Medium sized law firm with three offices throughout New Jersey.
- Caring and compassionate team of attorneys and staff.
- Over 40 years of combined experience with probate & estate litigation law in New Jersey.
- We will work to protect government benefits eligibility for disabled heirs and beneficiaries.
- We treat our clients like family.
I learned of Melanie shortly after my husband’s death. Compassionate, professional, knowledgeable, personable – there are not enough words to describe Melanie. She helped me get through the difficult process of probating my husband’s will, filing all required forms, i.e., taxes, etc. Then helped me update all my paperwork as well. I would not even consider using another attorney. From home sale to estate management, she has helped me with everything.G.G., Parsippany
Meet Our Probate & Estate Litigation Lawyers
Beth is extremely talented, professional, and responsive. She always maintains a sense of humor which is greatly appreciated as some of our conversations have had to deal with some issues that are quite emotional. Beth explains things very clearly and is always willing to answer any questions without being patronizing. I am grateful that I found her!C.B., Monmouth Beach
She is calm and listens to your problem. She provides excellent contact response. She helped me with a convoluted case to ensure the money that a resident passed without a will. As a public health nurse, I became aware of this 97-year-old who had only one living relative. That niece has neurological issues. The job of planning and advising me how to set up an interstate transfer of the aunt’s money to a special needs account was convoluted by Covid-19 and the fact that the aunt had no will. Melanie expertly guided me and was very patient with the niece with special needs. In the end, the niece received her inheritance in a method that would not remove her from Medicaid and other social supports. I felt good because I knew the elderly wanted her to receive all her money left after she passed. Mrs. Ritter made this all happen.P.A., Bergenfield