Probate is a legal process that involves the distribution of a person's estate based on the instructions left in their will. Once a person passes on their will goes to probate and is reviewed to ensure that it meets the technical requirements for a valid legal document. New Jersey and other states throughout the nation have their own rules for what a will must contain in order to be valid.
Many people understand the legal system as a method to protect their rights and punish wrongdoers. However, the legal system has many other functions to help individuals accomplish everyday tasks and to serve their everyday needs. For example, not all New Jersey residents choose to create estate plans for the distribution of their assets upon their deaths. When individuals do not have an estate plan or have assets that require administration, probate may be necessary.
Having an estate plan is absolutely essential for anyone in New Jersey that wants to make sure that his or her assets are distributed to the people and in the manner that he or she wants. One of the selling points for estate planning is the goal of keeping a family from having to go through probate in order to inherit those assets. However, in many cases, probate is not the dreadful experience that it is made out to be.
Many people in New Jersey are under the impression that when they change their will, their assets will go to whoever is designated in the will. However, there are many assets that aren't governed by the will. If the beneficiaries of those assets aren't changed as well, the distribution of assets upon death will not be governed by the will, but by the beneficiary designation.
When it comes to planning for the future, estate planning is one of the most important areas for New Jersey residents to consider. Ensuring that property, assets, valuables and other important items are secured for the future can help individuals be sure that their family will not be left under financial strain and complications. Recently, the death of famed actor James Gandolfini has raised awareness of the importance of estate planning and updating, and having a solid outline established.