Recently, the New Jersey Probate Statute made several significant revisions to those provisions that govern the administration of New Jersey estates and trusts. These revisions affect the duty of executors of probate estate administration and are worth noting if you are the executor of a New Jersey estate. Being tasked with this tremendous responsibility can sometimes seem daunting, but an experienced estate planning attorney can help you successfully navigate this often-confusing terrain.
What Is the Executor of an Estate?
Executors of estates are usually chosen by estate owners to fulfill the administration of their estates upon their deaths – at which time they become the decedents. This means that executors of estates collect and manage assets, file and pay taxes, and pay debts on the decedent’s estate. The executor’s job also includes distributing assets and making bequest distributions as directed by the decedent’s Will. First and foremost, however, the executor must probate the decedent’s Will. This means that you must have the Will admitted by the court, which provides the Will with legal effect. Once the court hands down the decision that the Will was executed validly under New Jersey law, you will be granted the power to perform your responsibilities under the Will’s provisions.
Your Responsibilities as the Executor of a New Jersey Estate
If you are the executor of an estate in New Jersey, recent revisions task you with several important actions:
· You have the responsibility of thoroughly searching the decedent’s personal papers and effects (both electronic and physical) for any evidence that might indicate potential creditors.
· You have the responsibility of carefully investigating the decedent’s checkbooks and registers (both electronic and paper, if applicable) to ascertain whether there is any evidence of recurring payments that might signal existing debt.
· You have the responsibility of contacting each of the decedent’s credit card issuers regarding the decedent’s debt load.
· You have the responsibility of contacting all medical professionals and care facilities who provided the decedent with medical care prior to death to ascertain whether any outstanding medical expenses exist.
As the executor of a New Jersey estate, you bear considerable responsibility. Don’t worry, however, a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you get this done.
If You’ve Become the Executor of a New Jersey Estate, Call 732 238-8686 for More Information Today
Being the executor of an estate is a big responsibility, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Bowne Barry & Barry, Attorneys at Law are here to help. We’ll explain the process in plain English and will guide you toward the successful completion of this important job. Our estate planning attorneys have the experience, dedication, and skill to help you execute your loved one’s estate exactly as that loved one intended. For more information, please contact or call the law office of Bowne Barry & Barry at 732 238-8686 today.