Distributing an Estate to Heirs or Beneficiaries in Manalapan Township

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Distributing an Estate to Heirs or Beneficiaries in Manalapan Township

The process of distributing an estate to heirs or beneficiaries in Manalapan Township can look very different from case to case. The existence of a will, whether the assets will go through probate, the nature of the assets and debts involved, and any disputes concerning the estate are some factors that can impact this process.

Administering an estate can be a complicated and overwhelming process. When you find yourself in this position, do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer. An experienced estate planning attorney can explain how this process works and help you understand your legal rights and obligations.

Understanding Probate and Non-Probate Assets

Many, but not all, assets go through probate when distributing an estate to heirs or beneficiaries in Manalapan Township. Sometimes, all the decedent’s assets will bypass probate and go directly to the named beneficiaries, depending on the structure of the estate plan.

For example, assets held in certain types of trusts, payable on death bank accounts, pension benefits, and life insurance proceeds may be disbursed without going through probate. Assets held through structures, such as joint tenancy and tenancy by the entirety, include the right of survivorship.

This means these assets automatically pass to one owner upon the other owner’s death and do not go through probate. Assets held in a revocable living trust may also bypass the probate process.

Assets held in non-probate accounts will not require supervision by the court. Otherwise, assets that do not fall into the above categories or were not structured in non-probate accounts will go through this court-administered process.

Key Elements of Estate Administration

When a person dies and leaves behind a last will and testament, assets not exempt from probate go through the probate process. If the individual died without a will, the process of distributing an estate to heirs or beneficiaries in Manalapan Township would look different.

Although the estate would still go through the probate process, without a will, the person is considered to have died intestate. Accordingly, the decedent’s estate would be distributed according to state law, which may look very different from what the decedent would have wished. An intestate estate may incur additional legal challenges from interested heirs or beneficiaries.

Assuming the decedent left behind a will, the document must be determined to be valid, and unpaid creditors must be given the opportunity to file any claims against the state. Once creditors are paid and estate administration fees are satisfied, the probate assets can be distributed to the decedent’s named heirs and beneficiaries. Probate can take up to a year or longer.

The process may take far less time when the estate avoids probate because the decedent set up the proper designations and a living trust. The trust beneficiaries would still need to be contacted, assets properly valuated, and creditors notified. After debts and taxes are paid, the beneficiaries would receive their assets as per the terms of the trust.

Contact a Manalapan Township Estate Planning Attorney About Distributing an Estate to Heirs or Beneficiaries

Distributing an estate to heirs or beneficiaries in Manalapan Township can only occur after the will is proven valid, creditors and fees are paid, and any claims or lawsuits are resolved. An attorney at Nesevich Law can offer indispensable guidance throughout this legal process and leverage effective strategies to resolve any disputes over the estate.

When you need help with trust administration, probate, or estate planning, you should speak with an attorney who can provide more information based on the unique facts and circumstances of your situation. Contact our office today to schedule your confidential legal consultation.