Probate in Middlesex is a legal maze that many people often struggle with, not just because of the complexity of the entire process, but also because of the emotional and mental toll people are already going through prior to probate. It’s doubly difficult because each state, county, and even city will have different rules that govern it; we buy houses in Middlesex, NJ, and we’ve seen the differences in the probate process between there, and, say, Pensacola, FL, or Columbus, OH.
But while the probate process in Middlesex is long, arduous, and confusing, with the right understanding of the subject matter, it can actually be a tolerable process. Here are some things you should know about probate.
What is Probate?
Probate refers to a formal legal process that validates a deceased individual’s last wishes. During the process, a probate court will assess any applicable death taxes and ensures that rightful beneficiaries and heirs are given ownership of assets and properties –real and otherwise –that they are entitled to.
Basically, it’s the government’s way of making sure that the right properties go to the right people, minus, of course, the taxes that are due to the government itself. A probate court, essentially, handles a person’s estate after they pass and makes sure that all dues are given to people they are due to.
The probate court oversees every step of this process, from validating wills, appointing representatives to catalog and administer the deceased person’s estate assets, and making sure that the right amount goes to the right people.
In a perfect world, a probate court would be unnecessary: if a person passes away, their will is recognized by the family, taxes are paid, and everyone gets a share of the estate. But in reality, families will often bicker about who gets what, different laws get glazed over, and the government is sometimes left unpaid in taxes.
Do I Need to Go Through Probate in Middlesex?
In New Jersey, a person will usually have to go through probate, although this might not always be the case. That being said, a general rule to follow is: the larger the estate, the more likely a person will need to go through probate, especially if there is real estate involved.
In Middlesex, New Jersey, people will often need to go through probate if:
- The person’s will was not written in a legally-binding way
- The assets left behind are of intrinsically high value in Middlesex
- The assets are complex in terms of distribution
- The distribution of the assets is being contested
- The proper heir or beneficiary to the estate is a minor
- The proper heir or beneficiary to the estate is contested
- The estate includes real Middlesex property.
- The Probate Process in New Jersey
- The probate process in New Jersey can be broken down into the following steps:
- The bereaved family contacts the court
- The probate court appoints a personal representative to asses the estate
- The family submits the deceased’s will, if there is one
- The estate’s assets are inventoried and valuated
- The probate court approves the valuation with the approval of the beneficiaries
- The probate court distributes the assets to the respective beneficiaries
Of course, there are dozens of steps in between each of those, most of which involve legal minutiae like permits and licenses and other back-and-forths
between the court and the representatives, usually involving real estate, one of the most valued assets in any kind of probate process.
In general, the probate process will take anywhere between 6 months to a year, possibly longer depending on the size of the estate, how much real estate is involved, and if there are any contestations from the beneficiaries.
Avoid the Hassle: Sell to a Professional Home buyer!
Real estate is one of the most contested things during probate, so many people turn to professional homebuyers to make the process easier. We buy houses in Middlesex, NJ, and we’ve been able to help hundreds of clients go through the probate process by making sure their real estate is handled by professionals.
The probate process can be intimidating because of the number of steps you need to follow, but Quick and Easy Offers can help consult you on the fate of your real estate during the probate process. Want to know more? Contact us, today, so we can figure out how to help you!