Even if you have an estate plan in place, certain things need to be taken care of after your death, such as paying off your creditors, taxes, and outstanding loans. It would be best to make sure that there is a designated person to do all that. After settling all the debts and taxes, that person has to distribute the remaining assets among the beneficiaries mentioned in your will. And that person is called an estate administration attorney.
Though it is easier to make a will in New Jersey, you will need an executor with 18+ years of age and a good understanding of the nature of the will. However, the case is different with estate administration. Estate administration requires in-depth knowledge of the estate laws, and the individual has to ensure that all the debts are legally settled down. That is why it makes more sense to hire an estate administration attorney NJ to administer your estate.
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Here are four tips that help you find the best estate administration lawyer in New Jersey.
1. Find an Attorney Who Specializes in Estate Administration
Before hiring an estate planning attorney, it is essential to understand that estate planning and estate administration are different. Estate planning is done to determine the distribution of your assets while you are alive. In contrast, after your death, estate administration is performed to settle all the outstanding debts and distribute the remaining assets among the beneficiaries. That is why it is critical to hire an attorney specializing in estate administration and not estate planning.
2. They Should Lay Out All the Possible Options
There are always some loopholes that an expert attorney knows. As estate administration involves paying off all the debt first and then distributing the remaining assets, there are chances that nothing will be left for your beneficiaries to inherit. If you have a sizable amount of debts on your head, you need to find an attorney who will come with different options that may not involve losing all your assets. They should develop other solutions to help you save a substantial amount of your assets and settle down all the debts. That is why it’s best to hire an attorney with several years of experience in estate administration.
3. They Should be Practicing Law in New Jersey
As a resident of New Jersey, you need to abide by all the new jersey estate laws to administer your estate efficiently. Hiring an estate administration attorney in NJ will ensure that they know all the NJ estate laws and help you find the right legal solution. Besides, it will be easier for you to meet and consult them if they are based in New Jersey itself. You do not want to travel across the states for your meetings or consultations.
4. They Should Know Their Way Around Debts
According to a survey by Debt.org, an average New Jersey resident has $62,300 of debt. Their debts are mostly student loans, mortgages, and credit card loans. That means if they decide to form an estate administration, the estate administrator has to pay off all that debt before distributing their assets to beneficiaries mentioned in the estate plan.
The estate administration attorney should have in-depth knowledge about different types of debts and the ways to pay them off without causing significant damage to the client’s assets. They need to know in and out how various financial institutions work to find the most efficient way to pay off the debt without losing a majority of clients’ assets.
Estate administration is a somewhat complicated process, and you cannot risk your entire estate by hiring an inexperienced lawyer who does not have any estate administration experience. Make sure you hire a specialist who will assure you to pay off all the debts and fairly distribute your assets among your loved ones.