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Estate Administration and Probate Archives

Learn about what must be done during estate administration

Administering an estate is a huge responsibility. You have to make sure that you fully understand your responsibilities and the steps that you need to take to get the job done. This isn't always easy, but we are here to help you handle the issues that might come up along the way.

Avoiding probate is possible in certain circumstances

When a loved one dies, one of the duties that falls on those who are left behind is determining what must be done with the assets of the person who died. In some cases, such as when the assets have a higher value, the family members might have to go through the probate process. This process is often costly and can prevent the heirs from getting their rightful property quickly.

Know the estate administration duties and laws that apply

The estate administration process is one that might seem overwhelming to a person who is dealing with the loss of a loved one. This is why some people opt to name a person who isn't related to them as the estate administrator. If you are facing the task of administering an estate after your loved one passes away, you might quickly realize that you need to find help to get it all done.

What do I need to do to probate an estate?

If you were appointed by the court or named by the decedent to probate an estate, you may be daunted by the task. While small, simple estates with few assets may be satisfactorily be handled by a lay person with no legal background, most estates will require — at minimum — a consult with a probate and estate planning attorney.

Keep taxes in mind whether you give now or later

Did you know you could give away a substantial amount of money without paying the federal gift tax? If you plan on leaving wealth behind for your family or other heirs and you're worried about edging above the federal estate tax threshold and paying the whopping 40 percent tax, you might be looking at gifting money now to save your estate later. It's important to realize the ramifications of total gifting, though, because a miscalculation could leave your heirs on the hook for a great deal.

Differences between estate executors and administrators

In New Jersey and elsewhere, people sometimes use the terms "executor" and "administrator" as though they're interchangeable regarding the estate planning process. However, they are not the same. Generally speaking, the two titles just mentioned refer to males designated to the positions while "executrix" and "administratrix" pertain to females, but for the purpose of this post, "executor" and "administrator" refers to both. When someone asks you to be one or the other, it's crucial you understand the roles and duties assigned to each before agreeing to accept the responsibility.  

Prince heirs quibble on which attorney's fees to pay

The Prince heirs have been in the news consistently for almost a year now as courts, heirs and lawyers work to move the complex estate through probate. Part of the problem is that the pop star died without a will -- or any other estate provisions -- leaving everything to be sorted according to the law. That left courts with months of work in identifying the right heirs, and now that six heirs have been identified, they can't seem to agree on much.

Plan now so your loved ones don't have to fight later

In our previous blog post, we discussed how the streaming rights to Prince's music are at the heart of an estate battle. This is only one example of what all might be included in legal cases regarding a person's estate. One of the best ways that you can prevent your loved ones from having to head to court is to plan your estate in a way that doesn't leave room for doubt or misinterpretation.

Streaming rights at heart of latest Prince estate legal battles

The Bremer Trust, which is the temporary administrator of Prince's estate, has been dealing with a number of legal battles lately. It's facing allegations from potential Prince heirs that experts botched the job of handling a tribute concert last year, and it's also dealing with an ongoing battle regarding streaming rights to Prince's music.

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