Probate a Will

Author: Wolfe Ossa LawCategories: Probate Law

Probate – Where Do I Start?

Losing a loved one is hard, one of the hardest experiences we go through. And unfortunately there is work to be done while still grieving, this is called Probate. Which is why we recommend seeking help from an attorney, let them handle the estate so you can focus on your family.

The first thing that needs to happen is to figure out if there is a Will. If a person dies without a Will, they are said to have passed Intestate. If they did have a Will, this is referred to as, Testate. Then you will need to go to the Courthouse. Probate is the process of distributing a decedent’s assets and is handled by a special section of the Court system known as the Surrogate. The Surrogate’s Office will provide you with Letters Testamentary (Testate) or Letters of Administration (Intestate).

Once you are the Executor or Administrator of the Estate. You will need to open an Estate account using an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and then transfer all of the decedent’s assets into the account. Some banks require you to leave half of the money in the account as collateral for potential taxes owed. They money is released when you provide proof that the State has accepted your tax return, known as a Waiver. Once you have the money, bills need to be paid, creditors need to be dealt with, and then eventually money needs to be distributed. In order to distribute that money, beneficiaries are required to sign and have notarized a Release and Refunding Bond. This under NJSA 3B:23-24 requirement ensures that no issues arise in the future.

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