There are many terms that you must know when working through estate administration or when drafting a will in New Jersey, from beneficiary to fiduciary. While these are more common, one you may not have heard as often is "residue." When it comes to a will or an estate, what is the residue?
A loved one's death may be the end of his or her life, but it is only the beginning of tasks that need to be completed by family members left behind. You may feel as though you spent all of your energy planning and attending the funeral and burial. However, once these initial tasks are completed, you may be responsible for dealing with your loved one's financial affairs and the distribution of his or her property through a process called estate administration.
Deciding who will be the executor of your New Jersey estate may seem like a simple decision, but it should be given more than a passing thought. This person will be responsible for many tasks -- not just the distribution of your property. Therefore, it may be beneficial to have at least a rudimentary understanding of what an executor is required to do, which could help you and the person you ask make an informed decision.
The majority of New Jersey residents are aware that a will establishes how and to whom a person's estate will be distributed after death. A will guides estate administration. Not having a will complicates matters and puts the distribution of assets squarely in the hands of the Surrogate's Court, which is guided by state law instead of the wishes of the decedent.
During the estate planning process, many decisions need to be made. One of the most critical decisions for many New Jersey residents will be the choice of an executor. The executor handles the administration of the decedent's estate such as paying creditors, locating assets and distributing property.
Most everyone in New Jersey has heard the saying that the only two things that are guaranteed in life are death and taxes. When those two concepts meet, it can end up being a mess for the person or people who are in charge of the estate administration. When the IRS is owed money, it can even transcend death.
Those who are acting as executors of an estate will likely benefit from understanding what to do as part of their responsibilities. Estate administration in New Jersey and elsewhere entails a multitude of duties and responsibilities, which when accomplished correctly, may help maximize assets and limit liabilities.