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Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
1236 Brace Road, Suite F
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Phone: 856-673-0048
Fax: 856-673-0052
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Linwood, NJ 08021
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Cherry Hill NJ Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Know the types of life support measures to consider

One of the components of an estate plan is the advanced directive. This works with the powers of attorney for health care to ensure that you get treatments you are comfortable with when you aren't able to make decisions on your own.

When you are drawing up the forms that will outline your wishes, you might decide to include instructions about life support. While some people think that this means being kept alive through artificial means, there is much more to life support.

Health care directives must be considered carefully

Health care directives are an important part of your estate plans. You should make sure that you understand the purpose and limitations of these documents so that you can get everything all set up.

The purpose of the health care directives is to designate someone who can make medical decisions for you when you aren't able to make them yourself. This person is known as your power of attorney for health care.

Make sure you name an appropriate person as executor

Naming the executor of your estate is a big decision. It is easy to just jot down the first person who comes to mind. However, the person you name has very specific duties to perform. If they can't do those in accordance with the applicable laws, there is a chance that your loved ones will suffer the consequences.

We know that you already have a lot to think about when it comes to your estate plan. This doesn't mean that it has to be difficult. Instead, you can take each issue individually and decide what you are going to do.

Learn the duties of an estate administrator

The administrators of an estate have a lot of responsibilities. Ensuring that you meet the responsibilities head-on is necessary because you need to get the estate handled. You are facing another challenge if you were close to the person who passed away because you have to try to set your emotions aside at this point.

We know that you might not know where to start when you are the administrator. We can help you learn what you need to do for the estate in question. Some estates are more complex than others, so we can help you learn about the specifics of the estate you are dealing with right now.

3 ways that you can try to avoid probate

Having to go through the probate process is something that can be costly and complicated. There are some ways that you can help your loved ones to avoid having to go through the probate process. Using these methods can save them time and money.

One thing that you can do is make sure that you have a payable on death designation on your financial accounts. This is something that you can set up on bank accounts and similar accounts. The person who you designate here can access these accounts when you pass away.

Know when you can contest a loved one's will

After a loved one dies, you are probably going to be an emotional mess. Your heightened emotional state might make you more likely to react to everything around you. If you find out that your loved one's will wasn't set up how you thought it was, your emotions might take hold of you. This is understandable, but make sure that you use this to fuel a legal response to the issue.

If you should have been included in a will but were left out or if you don't think that the will was set up properly, you might contest the will. We can help you to determine if you have a case to call the will into question.

Your estate plan covers more than what you might realize

If you are an adult, you need an estate plan. There really isn't any situation that would get you out of this need unless you are truly broke and have no possessions and if you don't care what happens to you if you can't make decisions for yourself. If you have children, you need an estate plan. If you have any valuables, you need an estate plan. If you have any thoughts about what you want to happen with your medical care or your finances if you can't make decisions for yourself, you need an estate plan.

Still, there are many adults who think that there is always another day to come up with a will. There are many who think that they don't need to worry about estate planning. Up to 69 percent of parents who have children still living at home don't have an estate plan.

Estate planning is very important if you have children

As a parent, you want your children to have a good life that is filled with stability and opportunity. You are probably doing your best to ensure that this happens. But, have you taken the time to think about what will happen to your children if something happens to you and your child's other parent? This is a scary question for many parents.

You might have ideas about what you want to happen to your children if you aren't around any longer. Having this idea and putting it into action are two very different things. If you pass away and you don't have things in order for your children, they might end up in foster care until the court can sort out what is going to happen to them.

Estate administration might be a complex undertaking

The administrator of an estate has a lot of duties to fulfill. We recently discussed the duties of the administrator when the decedent has debts. This is only one consideration that the administrator has to think about. We understand how it might be a bit overwhelming to have to deal with the duties of estate administration when you are still trying to deal with your loved one's death.

We are here to help you learn about what duties you have as the administrator. We will also help you to learn about the ways that you might be able to get your duties done.

What are your obligations if a loved one died in debt?

The death of a loved one is a sad time under any circumstances, and it can be a stressful one if you have been tasked with administering the estate. However, what if you find out that the deceased had considerable debt? What are your responsibilities?

Surviving relatives of a person with debt have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. That law is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. The FDCPA makes it illegal for debt collectors, including collection agencies, companies that buy debt and attorneys, from using unfair, deceptive or abusive practices to collect money owed by a deceased person.