The probate process in New Jersey is a legal method that acknowledges a will and enables the choice of an executor charged with accounting for the assets and administering the way the assets are distributed. Whether or not probate occurs, the assets must be tabulated and administered.
Laws concerning probate vary from state to state, and a hearing for probate may not be necessary. In some states, the probate process has been modified to make it easier and simpler. Sometimes a fiduciary may be bonded to carry out those functions. The fees linked to probate are also state specific. Speaking with an attorney before deciding whether to use a will or a trust is a preliminary way to ascertain what fees are involved.
Problems associated with probate may be due to the will itself. If the will is structured properly, specific problems may be eliminated. Other issues concerning taxes may arise. Laws may change from the time the will was conceived and when it is ultimately filed and executed. One of the most common problems may be the challenge to a will by family members. Having a will that is carefully detailed and done within the boundaries of state law, such as having the right number of witnesses and having the document notarized properly, may help eliminate inheritance disputes.
Living trusts are also recognized as a helpful feature of an estate plan. Such living trusts are used to specify what the individual wants in the event of illness, disability or when he or she is unable to handle affairs properly. Speaking with an attorney when structuring a will or trust may help differentiate what form one's estate plan takes. In addition, the attorney may help structure the documents to suit the client's needs and eliminate future problematic areas.