Going through New Jersey probate court after a loved one dies can seem very tedious, but it plays an important role. Probate court is a necessary practice that assigns a monetary value to all of a recently deceased person’s assets and distributes them fairly to the beneficiaries, depending on the deceased’s last wishes.
With that being said, beneficiaries benefit from a quick and painless probate process. This doesn’t always happen, but there are steps that people can take in their estate planning to make it easier.
What can make the probate process longer?
The probate process naturally takes some time to complete, but it’s safe to assume that the more complicated an estate is, the longer probate will take. Some things that can complicate estate plans are:
- Confusing instructions
- Multiple beneficiaries
- Beneficiaries living far away
- Assets that are in separate states or counties
The probate court has to go through all of the instructions, contact beneficiaries and decide the monetary value of all the assets. If all assets can’t be allocated or valued in a timely manner, it can be hard for the probate court to move through the process quickly.
What role do beneficiaries have in it?
Beneficiaries can play a crucial role in helping the probate process move painlessly. Being quick to respond to questions is one of the best ways to help the probate process along.
If beneficiaries are in other states or cannot be located, that can complicate things. Beneficiaries who refuse to work together can also make the probate process long and draining.
Out-of-date estate plans have to be the biggest culprit of a long probate process. If an estate plan or will is out of date, it can cause a lot of problems. That’s why one of the best ways to reduce time in probate court is to have a thorough estate plan and update it regularly.