Estate Planning

Price and Price: Highly skilled New Jersey attorneys who help families create well-crafted estate plans

When you have an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney on your side, you will feel confident knowing your assets are preserved. You can rest easy knowing your property and money will be passed down to the people you have chosen – and the process is completed strictly on your terms.

Unfortunately, some people make poor planning choices – or fail to do any estate planning. When this happens, the consequences can be disastrous. Healthcare costs and taxes can lead to a dramatic drop in the value of your estate. Your assets may be distributed improperly or delayed.

You can ensure your estate planning is completed the proper way by contacting Price and Price, LLCSouth Jersey’s premier elder law firm. Serving communities in Gloucester, Camden, Burlington counties and all of Southern New Jersey, Price and Price has worked hard to build a reputation as an honest and respected law firm dedicated to serving the needs of families. We have almost 100 years’ of combined experience.

The following are some of the legal matters that may come up while assisting you with estate planning:

How will Price and Price help with my estate planning needs?

At the top of this page we have listed some categories of estate planning. If your situation matches one of the categories, please click on the link and fill out the contact fields. If you don’t see your issue on this page, please contact us immediately to tell us about your special circumstances. We want to hear from you and help guide you.

When we meet with clients, we begin by evaluating their situation. Because no two individuals will have the same needs, we won’t take a cookie-cutter approach. We will craft a custom approach that puts your interests first.

Our clients find out quickly that we are highly knowledgeable about estate planning and elder law in New Jersey. We focus exclusively on these types of cases and have the resources and experience to represent a client who needs help with planning an estate, no matter how large or small it might be.

To read more about estate planning, see the following articles:

FAQs about Estate Planning in New Jersey

We know you probably have many questions about estate planning. We invite you to read our frequently asked question section below. If you don’t see your question, please call us to arrange a consultation. We would be happy to hear from you and help you explore your options. Call 856.429.5522 or fill out the contact field on this page.

Q: What is an Executor?

A: An executor is the person named in the will to manage the decedent’s estate.  The executor is in charge of the estate administration process – i.e. doing the four things that must be done in every estate: collecting the assets, paying the expenses, paying the taxes and paying the beneficiaries.  There can be two people named to share the job as executor – referred to as co-executors. Co-executors have things a little difficult because they must do everything together – the law does not allow for one co-executor to act independently of the other one.

Q: What is an Estate?

A: An estate is all of the money and property a decedent owned at the time of their death.

It’s really that simple as far as a definition is concerned.  However, you have to be careful because the value of their estate may be less that you think.  The assets in the estate are subject to liens, mortgages and debts so just because someone has what seems like a lot of money and property it might not be as much as you thought because these things will reduce it.

There are also different categories of an estate.  There’s a probate estate and a non-probate estate. There’s a taxable estate and a non-taxable estate.  So, once you calculate the total estate you can then separate the estate assets into these different categories to better manage everything.  These asset classifications and their effects are all dealt with during the estate administration process.

Q: What is an Estate Identification Number?

A: An estate identification number (also called an EIN) is like a social security number for an estate.  This is how the government can keep track of income and assets of the estate for tax purposes (yes, income earned by an estate is subject to income tax).  You will need an estate identification number in order to open an estate account. If you are working with an attorney to help with the execution or administration of an estate then the attorney can get the EIN for you.

Q: What is an Estate Account?

A: The executor’s job is to collect the assets left behind by the decedent.  Assets held at banks and other financial institutions must be collected and placed in an estate account.  That is the account that holds all of the estate money that is going to be used to pay the estate expenses, taxes and beneficiaries.  The estate account will only hold the probate assets. Probate assets must be moved into an estate account before they can be paid out to anyone.

Q: What are the Laws of Intestacy?

A: These are the laws that govern the estates of people who die without a will. They instruct on who can become the administrator of the estate and who will be the estate beneficiaries.  For the most part the estate administration process is the same whether someone dies with or without a will. The laws of intestacy fill the gaps that exist due to there not be being a will. Those are most frequently the appointment of a personal representative, the estate beneficiaries and waiving the requirement that the personal representative be bonded (if there is no will there will almost always be a bond).

Q: What is a Tax Waiver?

A: A tax waiver is a document that shows that taxes have been paid or taxes didn’t have to be paid.  When a tax return is filed with the state then the state will issue tax waivers saying that all of the taxes have been paid or they didn’t have to be paid.  In certain situations, however, the executor can prepare a self executed tax waiver that says that certain requirements have been met by the estate and no taxes are due.  These waivers are needed to get money from financial institutions or to get the proceeds from the sale of real estate. For example, if the decedent had a bank account at the time of his passing then the bank is only supposed to release one-half of the funds in the account until a tax waiver is produced.  Another example is the sale of real estate – if you sell real estate but don’t have a tax waiver for the property then the title company is supposed to hold funds back in escrow until a tax waiver issued by the state is produced to them indicating that either all taxes were paid or none were owed.

Q: What Does Intestate Mean?

A: Someone is said to die intestate if they die without a will. That’s it. If you die without a will you die intestate and the laws of intestacy will govern your estate. Those are the laws that direct who will become the administrator of your estate and who will be the beneficiaries.

If someone has a will at the time of their death then they will name their executor in their will and list the beneficiaries of their estate. Things are more straightforward – and often less expensive – when there is a will involved so you are well served to have a good, up to date, valid will.

Q: What is an Estate Administrator?

A: When someone dies without a will there won’t be an executor.  This is because an executor is appointed in someone’s will. If there isn’t an executor then who is going to manage the estate?  The person who gets that job is called the estate administrator.

The job of the estate administrator is the same as the executor – they are in charge of the estate administration process – i.e. doing the four things that must be done in every estate: collecting the assets, paying the expenses, paying the taxes and paying the beneficiaries.  Since there isn’t a will there won’t be any instructions listing from the decedent naming the beneficiaries of their estate. Instead, the estate administrator is guided by statutes to determine who the beneficiaries of the estate are.

Q: What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will?

A: In New Jersey, when someone dies without a will they are said to die intestate (compared to a testate estate which is when someone dies with a will) and their estate is controlled by the laws of intestacy.  The system is much the same as if someone has a will when they die. The surrogate appoints someone to manage the estate (referred to as an administrator as opposed to an executor). The administrator collects the estate assets, pays the estate expenses and taxes and then pay beneficiaries determined by state law.  Some of the things that make an intestate estate different, more complicated and expensive is determining who is going to be appointed administrator (or co-administrators), the need for a bond and clarifying who will end up as estate beneficiaries.

Q: What is a Decedent?

A: A decedent is a person who has died.  The word is commonly used when you are discussing the person who died – i.e. this is the decedent’s will.  It is also used when discussing the owner of an estate – i.e. the decedent’s estate or the decedent’s property.

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Price & Price attorneys have received recognition from various groups and publications. Specific awards are noted on our attorney bios. More information about each of these awards and the methodology used for selection can be found on the following links. Super Lawyers and SJ Magazine 2017 Top Attorneys. No aspect of these accolades has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

35 Kings Highway East #110
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Phone: 856.429.5522