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Probate in Camden County

Posted on Thu Mar 31, 2022, on Probate and Estate Administration

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “My brother named me the Executor in his Will. He lives in Camden County. Is being an Executor a difficult job? How does Probate in Camden County work?”

Probate in Camden County

Probate Lawyer, Peter Klenk

How Does Probate in Camden Work?

New Jersey is known for its taxes, but when it comes to the Probate process in New Jersey, you can appreciate your tax dollars put to good use. The process is overseen in each county by a Surrogate. My experience has been that the Surrogate’s offices are well-run throughout New Jersey. 

What is Probate?

Every culture, country, and some religions has developed a process for determining how to divide up a deceased person’s assets. For example, in France, you must give your children a portion of your estate. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, you have no obligation to leave your children anything.

A Register of Wills oversees this process in some states, such as Pennsylvania. In New Jersey, the Surrogate’s Office is giving the job. While the official’s name may vary, In the United States, overseeing the division of a person’s assets at death is called “Probate.”  In its simplest state, Probate is simply the process we use to ensure your things end up where they are supposed to after you die.

Can You Avoid Probate in Camden County?

Your brother could take steps to avoid the probate system. For example, he could name beneficiaries for bank accounts or have deeds Jointly with a Right of Survivorship. While these steps avoid the Probate process, these options don’t work well if he has minor children or wishes to protect his gifts from the beneficiary’s divorce or potential creditors. He can contact us to brainstorm options and see if they fit. But most people find these steps and their possible legal complications unacceptable. Most people decide to use a Will for these reasons and many others.

Is Probate in Camden Difficult?

Three states, New York, Florida, and California, give Probate a lousy name. These states have made their Probate process expensive and complicated. Probate in Camden County is reasonable and straightforward. 

What Is The Probate Process in Camden?

In summary, the process begins with a Petition. Remember, the Surrogate doesn’t know about the death. The Petition presents the Surrogate with all the necessary information; the death certificate to prove death, the original Will, and all the required family data and information about the Executor. The Surrogate will accept the Petition and officially recognize the Executo if all the information is in order. With this acceptance, the Executor can not start working. In straightforward terms, the Executor secures the estate’s assets, pays debts and taxes, and distributes the assets to the correct beneficiaries. Before making a final distribution, the Executor must ensure all heirs sign a settlement agreement confirming that they agree with all the work done. And, most importantly, releasing the Executor from liability. Obtaining a release is a vital last step. 

With What Part of the Probate Process Does the Probate Attorney Help?

Some Executors have us do everything. The phrase is often, “Call me when it is done.” While we are happy to help with any steps, most Executors don’t have us do everything. Instead, as Camden Probate Attorneys, we assist with the Petition, the sale of any real estate, the Inheritance Tax Return if needed, and the final settlement agreement. Estates differ, but these are the typical items most Executors want us to manage. 

Would you like more detail? Follow this link to my article, Probate: Everything You Need to Know. There are also other helpful links on this page.

In Conclusion: How Does Probate in Camden County Work?

I hope you found this short article responding to Probate in Camden County helpful. I have also included some links for more detailed information. Contact us if you want to know more or have an estate that needs our help. Let our Probate and Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. It’s All We Do: 

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation!

It’s What We Do!

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Camden County, Probate

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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