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Estate planning and probate

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2022 | Blog, Estate Administration

Probate in New Jersey is one of the essential concepts in estate planning. It describes a critical legal process where a court will examine assets in the estate and manage to distribute the assets to the right heirs.

Importance of probate

The role of probate court is to make sure that first of all, the estate pays off any taxes and debts, and second of all, to get the assets to the heirs specified in the will. The probate process is vital for legally clearing up any issues with the estate, but it can also take a long time to complete. For that reason, many people try to devise ways to protect assets from probate and transfer them to their designated heirs immediately.

Probates and estates

You can protect some assets from probate if they are specially designated to transfer immediately upon the owner’s death. Bank accounts and retirement accounts list beneficiaries for this reason. Assets in more than one person’s name will go to the other person on the title, not probate. Any property in a trust can avoid probate as well, which is part of why trusts play such a massive role in estate planning. Most other assets have to go through probate by default. Placing assets into a trust that would otherwise need to go through probate is a common strategy that can also provide tax benefits.

The probate court is the legal entity that manages to validate the death of the owner of assets, pay off debts, and transfer ownership to the correct recipient as specified in the owner’s will.