If someone has named you as an executor of a New Jersey estate, it's a good idea to make sure you understand all the duties and obligations that entails. Estate litigation can be a complex, stressful process. Perhaps, you are an heir or beneficiary to someone's estate. Maybe you have been designated to have power of attorney for someone who is now incapacitated.
There is nothing easy about being named the executor of an estate. The individual in this position has a significant amount of responsibility. While most executors can make it through the probate process in New Jersey without any hiccups, others may find themselves dealing with a number of problems, some that may ultimately lead to them being accused of executor misconduct.
Closing out a loved one's estate, whether in New Jersey or elsewhere, is not always an easy affair. Some individuals may not be happy with how things are being handled and may want to file claims against those believed responsible -- such as the executor, trustee or family members. Whether you think something is wrong or you are accused of wrong-doing, legal counsel can help you fight estate litigation claims in or out of court.
Moving on after losing a loved one can be a challenging thing to do. When there are issues with how his or her estate is being managed, it can make things even more difficult. Many New Jersey residents place their assets in trusts for protection and tax benefits. This is supposed to make things easier on beneficiaries when it comes to estate administration. However, some individuals will find they have problems with the trustee that they cannot work out on their own, which may lead to estate litigation.
When a couple gets married, assets often become jointly owned, unless each party purposely keeps property separate. When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse typically expects assets to pass to him or her, unless different arrangements are made and laid out in an estate plan. Still, spouses in New Jersey may be entitled to more than they are left.
When working through your loved one's estate, you found something concerning to you. At the last minute, it appears a beneficiary change was made. This has you questioning the validity of the estate plan as a whole. In New Jersey, to deal with this type of situation, estate litigation may be necessary.
Losing a beloved family member or friend is difficult for anyone. If this recently happened to you, it is okay to be struggling as you now try to figure out how to navigate the estate administration process in the state of New Jersey. This is not an easy thing to get through, especially if the decedent failed to put together an estate plan, failed to name an executor or named an executor that you think is unfit for the job.
Fights over parental estates happen. In fact, this is becoming pretty common in New Jersey and elsewhere. There are things parents can do when preparing their estate plans to help their children avoid going through estate litigation. There are also things siblings can do to prevent drama and get through the estate administration process as quickly and pain-free as possible.
Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult, and it doesn't always bring out the best in people. If you recently lost a loved one and have concerns about the state of his or her estate and how it is being handled, you do not have to sit by and let whatever is going to happen, happen. You may be able to do something about it so that you can make sure the estate is administered, not only per New Jersey law but also the way your loved one wanted.
Many married couples in New Jersey and elsewhere jointly own all of their assets. This means that if one spouse dies, the other will retain total control of the property. If this is how it works, it is understandable that the surviving spouse would want to know if he or she has to go through the probate process in order to officially close out the estate.