The probate process in Mount Laurel refers to the legal steps that a court and the executors of an estate must take to ensure the proper distribution of a decedent’s assets. The procedure is important because it helps ensure that everyone honors the expectations and wishes of the deceased. Probate is multifaceted and continues until the executor fulfills their obligations under the law. Common actions during probate include authenticating a will, distributing assets, and resolving any complications. A knowledgeable probate attorney could outline all the steps of the probate process and help everyone involved understand their legal obligations.
Initiating Probate and Submitting a Will
The legal processes associated with probate never begin automatically. State law requires someone to submit a petition to initiate probate at their local court branch. This person is usually the nominated executor of the estate.
When arriving at a court, the nominated executor must bring and submit a valid copy of the decedent’s will. According to New Jersey Revised Statute § 3B:3-22, parties must wait at least ten days after the date of death of the testator to submit a will to the court. A diligent attorney in Mount Laurel could help an executor locate a decedent’s will and formally petition to begin the probate process.
The Role of the Probate Court
A probate court has significant legal powers and, in many ways, keeps the proceedings civil. At the beginning of the probate process, a court issues letters to the executor that allows them to act on behalf of the decedent and the estate as a whole.
Probate courts also act to settle disputes that may arise between heirs and executors. Examples of common these disagreements may include establishing the authenticity of a will or concluding that an executor has acted in the best interests of the estate. An understanding lawyer in Mount Laurel could help ensure that the court upholds their duties and obligations during the probate process.
What do Executors do During Probate?
Along with having many obligations that they must uphold, the executor of an estate has many powers they can take advantage of during the probate process. For instance, an estate representative can take temporary control over a decedent’s assets. They can open bank accounts to obtain and transfer estate funds.
When it comes to an executor’s probate duties, these individuals must pay any of the decedent’s remaining debts. The funds for these repayments come out of the estate’s value. Meanwhile, a representative’s most crucial responsibility during the probate process is to distribute the remaining assets to the heirs named in a will. While upholding these duties during probate, an executor must put their personal biases aside and act in the best interests of the estate. This includes performing an inventory of estate property and submitting periodic updates on their actions. A seasoned attorney in Mount Laurel could help an executor respect a decedent’s wishes and fulfill their responsibilities during the probate process.
Call a Mount Laurel Attorney to Learn More About the Probate Process
The probate process will determine the property rights of all heirs. Adhering to the rules concerning the opening of probate, the submission of wills, and the duties of executors can help the process go smoothly. Furthermore, understanding the powers of an executor could help all parties evaluate whether the representative carries out probate legally. If you were nominated to serve as an executor and need help understanding the legal steps to administering a will, a dedicated lawyer could answer any remaining questions about the probate process. in Mount Laurel. Contact the office today to get started on your case.