The Basics Of Probate
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Clear Answers To Your Probate Questions

Probate concerns the transference of property from an estate to the proper beneficiaries. When a valid will is in place, distribution of the estate is governed by the language of the will. When there is no will, laws of intestate succession govern the distribution. Probate also concerns the payment of estate debts and taxes. The estate representative or executor is often responsible for paying such expenses from the proceeds of the estate.

At Salvatore DePinto, Attorney at Law, we understand the complex rules and regulations surrounding probate. Based in Hamilton Township, we have established a reputation for efficiently guiding clients throughout New Jersey toward resolution in all estate litigation matters. Following are some common questions our clients ask about probate.

Is Probate Time Consuming?

The length of time a probate matter takes varies. It may depend on whether a personal representative is necessary, if there are disputes and if a valid and clearly written will exists. Probate cases can be completed in less than six weeks in certain circumstances, and up to six months in more complicated situations.

What Are The Duties Of A Personal Representative?

The personal representative is responsible for:

  • Organizing and collecting the decedent’s assets
  • Managing the estate assets throughout the process
  • Paying of estate expenses, debts and taxes
  • Distributing the estate according to the will, court order and state law

A valid will typically appoints a personal representative. Otherwise, the court will appoint one.

Is Probate Expensive?

The cost of probate depends upon the complexity of the situation. The major cost will likely involve necessary court expenses. This is especially true regarding probate disputes. It may also be necessary to reimburse the personal representative for services and expenses.

Is Probate Necessary?

The need for probate depends on individual circumstances. In some instances, assets will not have to go through probate because trusts and other estate planning tools are in place. There are times when probate is unavoidable. This is true when there are disputes over the will, the language of the will is unclear, or if no valid will exists. In such instances, a probate court will step in to clarify how the distribution of the estate should proceed.

Contact A Knowledgeable Probate Attorney

Contact Salvatore DePinto, Attorney at Law, today to learn more about how we can help you successfully manage the probate process. Call our Hamilton office at 609-807-8942 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.