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Estate Administration

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When a loved one dies it is comforting to know that you have a caring expert on your side to help you navigate the legal and logistical challenges involved in this life transition. I work alongside my clients to gather together the assets of the estate and use them to pay outstanding debts, including taxes, as well as to distribute the assets according to their loved one’s wishes. I work with insurance companies, banks and other financial advisors to coordinate the receipt and distribution of assets. I understand the strain and emotional toll families are under in this type of circumstance and I strive to provide caring, thoughtful and thorough support and service when you most need a trusted advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Probate is a process supervised by the probate court where the property, called the estate, of a deceased person is passed on to his or her heirs and devisees (the people or organizations named in the will). The entire process usually takes about one year. However, distributions from the estate can be made while the will is in probate.

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Please Note: The information provided here is a summary only and does not take into account your individual situation.

The probate estate includes all property held in the deceased person’s name. Certain kinds of property, such as property owned jointly by the deceased and another person, life insurance, and property held in trust, are not part of the probate estate and are not subject to the probate process. For example, jointly owned bank accounts pass automatically to the surviving joint owner(s) upon the death of one of the owners without going through probate. The non-probate property, however, is part of the deceased person’s taxable estate.

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Please Note: The information provided here is a summary only and does not take into account your individual situation.

The first step is to file a petition for probate of the will with the probate court along with the original will and a certified copy of the death certificate. Notice must be mailed to all of the deceased person’s heirs at law (usually the surviving spouse, children and children of any deceased children), to those named as beneficiaries in the will, and, if a charity is involved or there are no heirs at law, to the Attorney General. Notice must be also published in a local newspaper. If no one objects by a deadline set by the court, the personal representative named in the will is appointed by the court.

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Please Note: The information provided here is a summary only and does not take into account your individual situation.

The personal representative is responsible for collecting the probate property and for paying any debts of the estate. The personal representative must file with the probate court an itemized list, known as an inventory, of the probate property, including the value of each item. The personal representative must file an estate tax return within nine months of the date of death. This is true even if no estate tax is owed, if the deceased person owned real estate or the executor wants his or her final accounting allowed by the probate court. Creditors of the estate have one year to bring claims against the estate. Personal representatives generally wait until this claim period has expired to complete distribution of the estate according to the terms of the will. As his or her final responsibility, the personal representative must file an accounting with the probate court showing the income and expenditures of the estate administration.

Want to discuss your Estate Administration needs? Let’s talk.

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Please Note: The information provided here is a summary only and does not take into account your individual situation.

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Excellent advice – custom tailored to our situation – great interaction/response with our financial planner to clarify a few areas. Consummate professional. You are on my list of favorites from New Jersey – along with Sinatra, Springsteen, Bon Jovi and the Sopranos Sharon and Nick Macone, Melrose, MA

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