Jul 12, 2022
Do I Need a Pour-Over Will in California?
Living trusts are effective estate planning tools that help families avoid probate. But here’s why a pour-over will should always be part of the calculation.
Have any questions? Ask us.
The death of a loved one is never easy. It's a sad time, with many emotions going through the mind of the friends and family members left behind. Even more pain is felt when messy administration tasks need to be done in order to settle your loved one’s affairs.
If you have been named an estate executor in New Jersey, you will need to understand what it takes before becoming a vital part of the estate administration process. So here are some things you should know before accepting the role:
When someone passes away, the executor of their estate is responsible for taking care of all legal and financial matters pertaining to the estate, as well as overseeing the distribution of the inheritance. This is a time-consuming role that requires careful attention to detail and careful handling of personal property. As the estate executor, you'll be responsible for:
You’ll have to file a probate petition with the surrogate’s court of the county where the deceased resided within a year of death to have the will approved as legally valid. The petition must include all of the following:
You will need to gather up all of the deceased person's assets, assess their value, and maintain them if necessary until they are distributed or sold according to the terms of their will. These assets may include:
Another responsibility of the estate executor is to pay off any debts owed by the deceased before distributing assets per the terms of their will or following state law. These obligations include funeral expenses, outstanding loans and mortgages, credit card bills, and any other outstanding debts. The executor is also responsible for filing any of the deceased’s outstanding tax returns, as well as an estate return if the estate had been generating income during the probate process.
One of the primary responsibilities of an estate executor is to notify all relevant people about the death. This includes letting family and friends know about the passing and informing any creditors or other organizations that may have a claim against the estate.
If there's a valid will or trust in place at death, then the executor must follow its instructions regarding the distribution of assets among heirs once all outstanding debts have been paid. If there’s no will, then the assets will be distributed according to New Jersey’s intestacy laws.
It's tempting to say yes right away when you're asked to be an estate executor. After all, you're being asked for help by someone who you care about deeply. And as executor, you have a lot of power—the power to make sure your loved one's wishes are fulfilled and that their estate is distributed according to their wishes.
But there are some things to consider before agreeing to be an estate executor:
In these cases, it can be helpful to partner with a professional who understands how to handle these types of situations and can help guide you through them. ClearEstate is here for you. We work with clients across the United States to help them settle their loved ones' estates quickly and efficiently so they don't have to deal with this alone.
If this sounds like something you want to pursue further, please reach out for a free consultation. We'd love nothing more than to help make this process easier for everyone involved.