Executor Lawyer in Red Bank, NJ
The Executor of a will is responsible for submitting a will to probate, gathering assets, paying valid estate debts and distributing bequests to the beneficiaries. The Executor also is responsible for managing and preserving assets and filing tax returns as well as paying any estate and inheritance taxes due from the estate assets. The Executor is granted legal authority to buy, lease, sell and mortgage real estate, to borrow and lend money, and to exercise various tax options. Sometimes an Executor must respond to unanticipated situations in the administration of an estate so flexibility is important. In cases of a family business, an Executor may be given the authority to continue the business or enter into new business arrangements.
If a deceased person named you to serve as Executor in his or her will and probate is necessary, you will go to the Surrogate’s Court and request to be formally appointed as Executor of the estate. This can occur as soon as 10 days after the death. You will need to provide the will and obtain and provide a certified copy of the death certificate. If the will is not “self-proving,” then one of the two witnesses who watched the deceased person sign the will and who signed the will themselves must appear in court or submit a sworn statement.
In short, the Executor of the will must:
- Collect and protect assets of the estate
- Pay estate taxes and debts of the decedent
- Make distributions to beneficiaries
- Provide an accounting to the court
There can be substantial effort involved in this position. Perhaps in conjunction with a trustee, you may need to find, consolidate and invest assets, pay debts, maintain and distribute property, and pay taxes. You may coordinate with attorneys, accountants, financial planners, and beneficiaries. The probate process can be complicated. Sometimes, beneficiaries may have interests that might not clearly be consistent with the terms of the will or trust. Our legal team is ready to help you comply with your duties as an Executor and successfully probate the will of your loved one. We also assist with inheritance tax issues and arranging for waivers of real estate.
Executors and Trustees are ordinarily entitled to commissions and/or fees. The amount may be designated by the terms of the will or trust. Otherwise, they are determined by statute. New Jersey statutes provide pay scales for Executors, which can be increased or decreased by a court. Be aware that you must include any compensation that you receive as an Executor in your taxable income in the year that it is paid. If the Executor of an estate fails in his or her fiduciary duty of administering the estate appropriately, a petition may be submitted to the court to have the Executor removed and another appointed.
Contact our firm to discuss your legal matter
If you need assistance with a probate matter, contact Margaret M. Mahon, Esq. LLC. We offer free 30-minute initial consultations.