Essex County Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer
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Estate Administration in Essex County

Information for Executors and Administrators

The procedures involved in administering an estate can take from six months to several years depending on the complexity of the estate and any potential litigation. However, it has been my experience that when clients are forewarned about the process, they tend to have a much higher tolerance level when the wheels of justice turn slowly. If you have been named the executor of a will, or if you have been named the administrator of an estate that had no will, then you may be wondering what you're supposed to do next.

On this page I have provided you with some basic guidelines that can help assist you with your fiduciary duties, some of which include:

  • When a will is probated, as the executor or personal representative, you are required to serve the "Notice of Probate of the Will" to all parties named in the will within 60 days.
  • If the will includes charitable gifts, this notice must be served upon the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, Division of Law.
  • If there was no will, then the administrator must notify the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey if there are no surviving heirs, in which case the estate will become property of the state.

The executor or administrator has a number of important responsibilities, all of which are aimed at preserving the best interests of the estate and the beneficiaries, and these include:

  • Determining and marshalling all assets of the estate
  • Establishing a separate checking account for the estate from which bills will be paid
  • File the decedent's state and federal tax returns, identify and pay all debts
  • Pay any applicable inheritance and estate taxes
  • Provide an accounting for estate assets, disbursements and proposed distributions
  • Distribute the estate's assets in a timely fashion in accordance with the terms set forth in the will

West Orange Probate Attorney

Since the average person will probably only be named an executor, administrator or trustee once in their lifetime, it's important to engage a West Orange probate lawyer to assist with the estate administration process. As a seasoned attorney with over 30 years of experience representing clients in the Essex County Surrogate's Court, I can provide you the information you need to streamline the administration process and maximize the value of the estate. With an AV Preeminent® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, and as one of the attorneys included in New Jersey's selection of Super Lawyers®, you can be rest assured that you will be receiving the highest quality legal representation available.

Contact The Law Office of Alice Beirne today to schedule your free consultation at (973) 852-3283.

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