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New Jersey estate litigation: What to do with the house?

| May 31, 2018 | Estate Litigation |

If a loved one passes away without a will or trust, it is all too common for family members to fight about what to do with assets. In New Jersey and elsewhere, one of the most significant assets people have when they die is their home. Changing the deed to a house is not necessarily difficult, but if beneficiaries are fighting over the property, estate litigation may be the only way to resolve the issue. 

How does one go about changing the deed to a house after a loved one dies? This is something that can be done at the county assessor’s office if there is a will or trust document in place. If no estate plan exists, the matter must be processed in probate court first before any party can attempt to make the deed change. 

After every party who makes a claim on the estate has presented his or her case, a probate judge will get to decide who shall take possession of the home. That individual will then have to take all of the necessary paperwork to the county assessor’s office, request the deed change and pay the required fees for the title to be updated with his or her name. If there is a mortgage lender, they need to be made aware of the change. 

Fighting for property, while not the ideal way to settle the estate of a loved one, is sometimes necessary. There may not be any other way to resolve the matter, and that is okay. An experienced New Jersey-based estate litigation attorney can help beneficiaries take the steps necessary to ensure property is appropriately distributed and that assets, like the decedent’s house, go to the right person. 

Source: homeguides.sfgate.com, “How to Change the Deeds to a House After Parents Die“, Kimberlee Leonard, Accessed on May 1, 2018