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Cherry Hill NJ Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

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.

Discourage a will challenge from the moment you create it

Creating a will now can help make life easier for your loved ones after you pass away. As you are creating the will, you need to think about what you can do that might help discourage them from contesting the will. You might not think that anyone will challenge it, but there is a always the chance that someone will do just that. There are several things you can do that might help ensure that your loved ones can get your estate handled as quickly as possible, which can mean less time and less money is spent on the process.

If you are concerned that someone might challenge the will, you can include a no-contest clause. This sets a penalty if someone challenges the will and loses that challenge. These clauses mean that if the challenge isn't successful, the person loses out on what he or she was going to get.

Probate litigation is complex but it serves an important purpose

Estate plans are a set of instructions about the handling of possessions after individuals pass away. These plans are usually followed without any issues, but there are some instances in which people who are left behind don't believe that the way things are set up are truly indicative of what the person wanted. We can let you know if you have legal grounds to contest a will or fight back against an estate plan component that you believe isn't correct.

Contesting a will is a big step. It can pull you and your family members apart, especially if they don't agree with the reason for the challenge. You need to think carefully about this. One of the first things to do is to come up with a plan.

Only certain people have a legal standing to contest a will

Challenging a will isn't something that can be done by just anyone. The law has things pertaining to a will set up so that only specific people can challenge the contents of the will. People or entities who don't have a legal interest in the will can't challenge it.

One group of individuals who has an interest in the will even if they aren't specifically named in it are those who would stand to inherit all or a portion of the estate if the decedent had died without a will. State law sets up a succession plan of people who can inherit assets if a person dies intestate.

Think about the goals of your estate plan to get things moving

Planning your estate must be taken seriously, but this is one reason why some people might put off the planning process. It is very easy to think that you have plenty of time left to get a will and other components of the estate plan hashed out. This may not be the case, since "life is what happens when we are busy making other plans," as a famous song counsels. We can help to make the estate planning process as easy as possible on you.

Thinking about what goals you have for your estate is the start of getting the estate plan started. You need to decide if you are going to provide for your children or if you want to support a favorite charity. Maybe you want to do both. By informing us of the goals of your estate, we can enlighten you as to the avenues available for their materialization.

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
Map & Directions

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