Probate is the legal process that may be required after someone dies to authenticate their last will and testament if one has been made. Probate also occurs in the absence of a will when a probate court decides how an inheritance or estate should be distributed. The process includes locating a person’s assets and determining the value of said assets, paying any outstanding debts, bills or taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to family members or other rightful beneficiaries.
Probate inheritance refers to any inheritance an individual might be granted during the probate process.
When is probate necessary?
Probate laws vary by state, and probate is not always required. Generally, probate is only required if the decedent owned assets in his or her name alone. Other assets—referred to as nonprobate property—can be transferred to their new owners without probate.
What is non-probate property?
Some examples of non-probate assets include:
- Assets with a designated beneficiary outside of the will, like IRAs, 401(k) plans with a named beneficiary and payable-on-death bank accounts
- Assets the decedent owned in joint tenancy which pass automatically to the surviving owner
- Life insurance or pension benefits that are payable to a named beneficiary
- Assets held in a revocable living trust
Types of Probate in New Jersey
If the decedent did not leave a will or a lot of valuable property, a simplified probate procedure is available in New Jersey for surviving family members.
Quicker and less expensive than regular probate, simplified probate is available if:
- The decedent’s assets do not exceed $20,000 and the surviving spouse or domestic partner is entitled to all of it without probate.
- There is no surviving spouse or domestic partner and the value of all assets does not exceed $20,000. In this case, one heir with the written consent of other heirs, can file an affidavit with the court and receive all assets.
Larger or more complicated estates will go to regular probate.
This process is handled by a surrogate court in the county in which the decedent lived. Generally speaking, the process goes as follows:
- File: File a petition with the county of the deceased individual to begin probate, asking to be acknowledged officially as the legal executor of the estate. You will also need to submit a will, if one exists, and a death certificate. A court will then schedule a hearing to decide on this approval and hear objections from other parties, if such a situation exists.
- Notify: Once probate begins, you will be required to notify all creditors, beneficiaries and heirs by mail that the estate is in probate.
Inventory Assets: Next you will collect, inventory and appraise all assets associated with probate and bring them before the court. These assets often include bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, real estate and personal effects like jewelry and art.
- Settle Debt: This entails collecting all money owed to the estate and reviewing any outstanding bills or debts the decedent had. You will have to decide if and how they must be paid. This may require some digging through accounts, statements and checkbooks as you want to be sure that the estate’s assets can cover all debts. Otherwise the state will prioritize the claims of creditors. You will also need to pay any applicable taxes, and a final income tax return for the estate. Setting up an estate account for paying these final bills and expenses is generally a good idea.
- Distribute Assets: Once debts are all paid, you will distribute the remaining.
- Close the estate: Once all assets have been properly distributed, you will submit receipts and records to the court, asking for the estate to be closed and to be relieved from your role of executor.
How long does probate take?
The probate process varies by individual circumstances and state to state depending on laws and other regulations. If all goes smoothly, the process should take less than a year. For probate dealing with less complex inheritances, the process may be even shorter. However, the larger the estate, and the more claims there are to satisfy, the longer probate usually takes, especially considering that legal challenges are often issued when large estates with many claimants are being settled. It is not uncommon for probate in these situations to drag on for years.
Is there a way to get my inheritance more quickly?
At My Inheritance Cash, we know that the death of a family member presents an exceptionally difficult time, and understand the financial hardship that probate can leave individuals or family with, especially if you were counting on inheritance funds to assist in daily living. The inheritance left to you can help alleviate some of this pain and stress in a practical way and that is why we offer fast probate advances that provide immediate access to your money.
While many probate loan companies simply allow you to borrow against the sum of your inheritance, charging exorbitant fees and interest in the interim, we actually purchase a portion of your inheritance offering you an up-front cash advance from that amount. In this way, our clients will avoid fees, avoid repayments, and best of all, avoid interest! Because our cash advances are not loans, you won’t even have to undergo a credit check to receive approval.
When you’ve fallen on hard times, there’s nothing like a hefty cash amount to brighten your horizon. At My Inheritance Cash, our probate loans are designed to improve your situation, alleviating you from the financial burden that you suffer. Whether you are struggling to care for a surviving spouse or simply want to pay off those burdensome student loans, a cash advance on your estate is our way of giving you what’s already yours: your inheritance.
At My Inheritance Cash, we simply want to make your life easier. No matter what you need a probate loan for, the money is yours to spend it as you wish. We deliver only top-tier service with the utmost of compassion and respect, with account deposits of cash within 72 hours of approval.