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Tiboni & Tiboni, LLP

We concentrate on Estate Planning & Administration,
Elder Law, Guardianship,
Special Needs and
Financial Legal Advice
to help you plan, preserve
and protect the important
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Trust, Will & Estate Administration
Trust, Will, Estate Admin
What is Involved in Estate Administration?

The process of estate administration typically adds stress and other complications to an already difficult time.  The necessary steps to administer an estate and determine an inheritance, is largely determined by the estate planning decisions that were made during the lifetime of the person, knowingly or unknowingly.  We work to alleviate the difficulties of the estate administration process.

Estate administration often involves gathering the assets of the deceased and preparing many time-sensitive forms.  It also may require decisions that have tax and other serious consequences, including accounting for and valuing assets, changing title of the deceased’s property to the heir(s), electing a payout under a retirement plan and paying taxes to state and federal authorities.

The administration of an estate can be very complex, because it often involves several different bodies of law, including property, probate and tax.  For example, some assets that are included in the taxable estate are not included in the probate estate, while other property is not included in either the probate or taxable estate of a deceased person.  

We Offer These Estate Administration Legal Services:
} Counsel to Executors, Administrators, Trustees or Heirs
} Trust Administration
} Probate of Estates with a Valid Will
} Administration of Estates without a Valid Will
} Administration of Non-Probate Assets
} Stretch IRA and Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)
} Guardianships Planning for those with Special Needs or the Incapacitated
} Federal and State Estate Tax Returns
} Estate Litigation Regarding Contested Wills

To begin the process and determine the next step, contact us for a consultation to determine what is required to properly administer an estate.  For more information on taxable estates or estate planning, click here.  

Frequently Asked Questions about Estate and Probate Administration:

What is Probate?
Probate is a court-supervised process of distributing your probate property after your death, which includes:

1. Confirming the validity of a Last Will and Testament
2. Gathering the assets held in your name
3. Paying debts, taxes, and the expenses of administering your estate
4.  Distributing the remaining assets to those persons, trusts and organizations, as directed in your Will

Does all of my property get distributed, according to the terms of my Last Will and Testament?
No.  For example, assets which you own jointly, with rights of survivorship, will pass to the surviving co-owner.  Property with a beneficiary designation (Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), transfer on death accounts (TODs), and life insurance) will pass to the named beneficiary.  Assets held in trust also avoid probate.  For these reasons, trusts and accounts with beneficiary designations are often referred to as “will substitutes” because your property is distributed to those you designate, but not according to your will.  If you designated a minor or an incapacitated person as a beneficiary, a guardianship may be necessary for them to receive the property.

What happens when a person dies without a Will?
It is commonly said that everyone has an estate plan: either the one you design, or the default plan set forth in the laws of the state in which you reside at the time of your death.  There is a complex set of rules in New Jersey for the disposition of your estate if you die without a Will.  The first problem that arises if you have children and no Will is that at the age of 18 your child receives his or her inheritance outright.  There will be no oversight or guidance provided to the child.  Think about that.  How would you have handled your inheritance at age 18 without any guidance?  The second issue that will arise is who will be the guardian for your children under the age of 18.  It is clearly not advisable to not designate someone.  Although this is a difficult decision for you and your spouse, just think how difficult it will be for your family if you cannot give them any guidance.  Lastly, dying without a Will can have serious adverse tax ramifications.  There are steps that we can take with a properly drafted estate plan that will possibly reduce estate taxes due at your death.

What is a trust?
A trust is a separate entity that can hold property for the benefit of one or more persons.  A trust or living trust is often confused with a Will.  Assets held in trust avoid probate, provided such assets are transferred while you are alive.   The common uses of a trust include: (1) to avoid probate; (2) to provide for the long-term management of property held for minor children and disabled children; (3) to efficiently plan for taxes, more specifically to ensure married couples fully utilize federal and state tax exemption amounts; (4) for asset protection planning; and (5) for Medicaid eligibility.   For these reasons, even people with smaller estates are more and more frequently utilizing trusts as the preferred vehicle to manage their assets during life, and when they are deceased.  This is because even for a moderate estate, a trust can be used for privacy purposes and to avoid the expenses and delays associated with the probate process.

Contact Tiboni & Tiboni, LLP for more information, and to set up a consultation.
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Contact Info

Tiboni & Tiboni, LLP
166 South Street
New Providence, NJ  07974
Ph: 908-286-1136
Fax: 908-286-1605

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