Proper Legal Guidance That Makes New Jersey's Estate Administration And Probate Process Extremely Manageable

Probate is the legal process of collecting a deceased person's assets; opening an estate and then taking the steps necessary to pay outstanding debts; paying death taxes, if any; and transferring assets to the beneficiaries named in a will or, if the decedent died without a will, to persons entitled to share in the estate according to New Jersey laws of intestacy.

New Jersey has one of the most "user-friendly" probate processes in the country. If there is a will, it is presented to the surrogate of the county were the decedent resided at the time of death. Letters testamentary are issued to the executor. Unless there are problems, there is no other involvement with the court system.

If there is no will, someone must be appointed as administrator and post a surety bond as a condition for the issuance of letters of administration. When more than one person applies to be appointed, it can be expensive. Not only that, the person appointed by a judge may not be the person the decedent would have chosen if he or she had executed a will.

Depending on the size of the estate, administrators' bonds can be expensive and must be renewed each year until the estate is settled. Although there are many reasons to execute a will, the ability to avoid having to pay for a surety bond can be reason enough.

Most probate matters involving estate administration are nonadversarial but involve the preparation of detailed tax returns and reports. At the law office of Rudolph & Bloodgood, LLC, we handle routine estate administration matters independently. For more complicated estates with continuing financial transactions, we usually work with accountants who are experienced in estate administration. We are happy to collaborate with a family accountant if he or she has the requisite experience, or we can recommend accountants with whom we have had satisfactory dealings in the past.

At the law office of Rudolph & Bloodgood, LLC, in Kinnelon, New Jersey, we offer our clients decades of legal experience. Our attorneys are committed to helping you reach a positive resolution to your probate or guardianship issue in the most dignified and stress-free manner possible.

Committed To A Positive Outcome

Contested probate litigation usually arises when a person believes he or she has not received a fair share of the estate. The person contesting the will (the caveator) typically seeks to prove one or more of the following:

  • Ambiguity in the will
  • The will was improperly drafted or executed
  • The testator lacked sufficient capacity to execute a will
  • The testator executed the will while subject to undue influence at the hands of the proponent of the will

This type of litigation can be contentious, time-consuming, and physically and emotionally draining. We strive to seek a reasonable negotiated resolution of these types of conflicts, but when this is not possible, we provide our clients with aggressive, professional advocacy.

Discuss Your Case With A Lawyer

No matter which side of the argument you are on in a probate matter, we will fight tirelessly in pursuit of a result that benefits you.

To learn more about how you can draft a durable power of attorney that matches your goals, schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers, contact us online or call 973-850-4121. We have offices in Riverdale and a satellite office in Kinnelon. Both offices are handicap-accessible and have adequate off-street parking. We are available during regular business hours in Riverdale and by appointment in Kinnelon.

Both offices are convenient to New Jersey Route 23 and Route I-287

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