Trust & Estate Administration

Estate Administration (or probate) is the process by which an individual’s financial affairs are resolved following his or her death. The process involves:

  1. The determination of who is entitled to serve as the legal representative of the decedent’s estate, and the formal appointment of that representative;
  2. The identification, marshalling, and valuation of the assets of the deceased;
  3. The identification and satisfaction of the debts of the deceased, and the expenses of the estate;
  4. The determination and satisfaction of state and federal taxes resulting from and incidental to the decedent’s death;
  5. Obtaining a release of the New Jersey Transfer and Inheritance Tax Lien; and
  6. Distribution of the net assets of the decedent pursuant to the decedent’s testamentary intent as established by the decedent’s estate plan; or in the event that the decedent did not have a formal estate plan, pursuant to the applicable state laws of intestacy.

Appointment as the representative of the decedent’s estate (called the “executor,” if appointed pursuant to the terms of the decedent’s last will and testament; or the “administrator,” if appointed pursuant to the intestacy statutes or other rules of court) creates personal liability on the part of the representative to the extent of the value of the decedent’s assets.

We are expert at limiting the extent of the estate and inheritance tax liability of the estate, to the extent permitted under applicable federal and state law, and at ensuring that the personal liability resulting from the estate representative’s appointment as representative is fully discharged as the conclusion of the estate administration process.

We are able to guide you through all facets of the estate administration process, including the preparation and filing of all applicable state and federal estate and inheritance tax returns.