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Cherry Hill NJ Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Probate disputes can be handled through mediation

Probate disputes can be trying matters for the people who are involved. When your family members opt to dispute an estate plan, it can mean that you will have to fight for what your deceased loved one wanted you to have.

While you might think that all estate disputes need to be hashed during a trial, this isn't the case. There are times when it is appropriate for the case to go through a trial; however, many estate disputes can be easily handled through mediation. One of the things that determines if this is a good idea is the already present family dynamic.

Provide instructions for your family after your death

When you have loved ones who count on you, the thought of losing you might be frightening to them. One of the ways that you can make this transition to life without you easier on them is to have your estate plan set up. At a minimum, your estate plan is going to include a will, but there are also other components that might come into the picture to ensure that your wishes are clearly conveyed.

We can help you get your estate plan all set. We will discuss your wishes with you so that we know what options might help you. Once we give you this information, you will decide how to handle the estate plan.

Beware of prepaid funerals and the pitfalls they come with

The idea of a prepaid funeral is appealing to many people because they think that this will take the stress off their loved ones. This does seem like it would the best thing to do, but issues with prepaid funeral are more common than what you might realize. It is important that you consider this option carefully and learn about the alternatives that you have to helping your loved ones.

The money for a prepaid funeral should be protected and used only for your services; however, this isn't how it might play out. There are many cases in which the funeral home misapplies the funds or when they aren't documented at all. Unfortunately, this could throw your loved ones into a legal battle when they should be able to focus on healing after your death.

Estate administration duty: Paying the estate's debts

The estate administrator has a number of jobs to do before the estate can be closed out. One of these is paying for the debts that the estate has incurred. There are specific limitations and orders that come with this duty, so anyone who has it should make sure that they understand the ins and outs of this area of the law.

It is important to know that heirs shouldn't be responsible for paying the estate debts. There are times when creditors might contact the decedent's loved ones for payment. When this happens, they should direct the creditor to the estate administrator. This adds another duty to the administrator's list. He or she might have to deal with demanding and pushy creditors.

Probate litigation doesn't have to be an issue

The probate process is mystifying to some people who haven't ever had to deal with it before. Some people think that when a family member passes away, you just divide up his or her stuff and move on with life. This isn't usually what needs to happen.

Many people pass away with an estate plan in place. Even when the person doesn't have one in place, there is still a certain order that needs to be followed for passing out assets. When these aren't handled in the right manner, there is a chance that the estate will end up in probate litigation.

Don't be afraid of estate planning; it is easier than you think

There seems to be a misconception floating around that estate planning is difficult. This isn't the case. Getting the estate plan together is actually fairly simple. The hardest part might be deciding what you are going to leave to whom and what you want in your final days. We are here to guide you through the entire process.

When we meet with you, we will find out what goals you have for your estate. This can give us an idea of what we need to include in the estate plan. Sometimes, the plan is as simple as creating a will. In other cases, there are multiple documents and components to the plan. Even if your estate plan is one of the more complex ones, our guidance can take the guesswork out of it.

Remember to plan for your medical care

When you are setting up your estate plan, you need to make sure that you are including all components. You can't focus only on the will because there is so much more to an estate plan than just that. One important thing that you need to think about is who knows what your wishes are for your final days.

Your health care is an important factor that can have a positive or negative effect on how you enjoy your life. Some people feel very strongly about certain types of medical care. For example, some people don't want resuscitation and others can't stand the thought of not giving it a shot. In both of these cases, the living will and a power of attorney for health care can be very helpful.

Estate administrators have a tough job

Your loved one's estate might be a big responsibility for you after that person passes away. This is especially true if you are the administrator over their estate. This position requires that you handle quite a few duties. Unfortunately, these come at a time when you are likely still mourning your loss.

One of the important duties of the estate administrator is to handle the financial aspects of the estate. This includes paying certain bills and filing tax returns. These matters can have a big impact on what the heirs walk away with when the probate matters are all settled. We can help you make sure that you are handling these financial points in the way they are required to be handled by law.

Administering an estate is a big responsibility

Making your estate plan is a serious event in your life. You have to make sure that you have your affairs in order before you pass away. On top of creating a will, establishing trusts and leaving instructions for your final days, you have to decide who is going to administer your estate.

The administrator of the estate is the person who is going to handle the heavy work after you are gone. This includes trying to find all of the assets you have and locating the heirs that need to be notified of the estate.

Guide your loved ones with a comprehensive estate plan

The estate plan that you create lets your loved ones know what you want done in the days after your death, but there is much more to these documents. They can also set the plan for what will happen if you become incapacitated. This is why it is necessary to have a comprehensive plan put together to guide your loved ones.

We understand that you might be concerned about making sure you are conveying everything in the appropriate manner. There are times when you might need to really think about what you want so that you can get it all set in the estate plan. It might even be a good idea to discuss the plan with your loved one so that you can let them ask questions about what you want.

Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
Representing clients in Ocean City and communities throughout New Jersey.

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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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Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
Linwood Professional Plaza
2021 New Road, Unit #9
Linwood, NJ 08221

Phone: 609-398-3447
Fax: 856-673-0052
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