It’s hard to think about, but there’s likely to come a point in your life when you lose a loved one. It’s challenging on many fronts, but the ability to take the right steps at the right time can relieve a little bit of stress.
While there’s no right or wrong way to approach this difficult time, here are some basic steps you may need to take:
- Review your loved one’s will: For example, if your spouse passes away, their will provides a better idea of what comes next. The probate process may be necessary, and you could be the one responsible for carrying it out (if you’re the executor).
- Review your loved one’s trust: In addition to (or in replacement of) a will, your loved one may also have a trust. In this case, the trust administration process comes next. And if you’re named as the trustee, you’re responsible for a variety of duties and responsibilities, such as notifying beneficiaries. On the plus side, assets held in a trust are not subject to probate .
- Determine if they died intestate: This means that the person did not have a will or trust at the time of their death. As a result, the estate is subject to intestacy laws and it will go through the probate process. At this point, you have no control over what happens to the estate, as it’s based on the laws set forth by the state of New Jersey.
Along with the above, remember this: you’re going through a difficult time, so you shouldn’t push yourself to the limit. You must give yourself time to grieve, or it could take a toll on your mental and/or physical state.
If you have questions about what to do after the loss of a loved one, contact us for guidance and advice.
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