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Two Part Post on Real Estate and Your Estate: Part Two

April 18, 2017

Filed under: Home Probate — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

In general, probate refers to the legal proceedings by which your assets are analyzed and then distributed by the court. Everything that you own, including your land is distributed according to the New Jersey intestate statutes. It can take up to one year for a probate case to make its way through the court system and it can also be extremely expensive as a result of this delay and the costs of an estate attorney. Probate is also a very public process which is one of the primary reasons that if you intend to pass on real estate to your loved ones, you should do so by using a will, trust, or other estate planning tool. real estate probate

Consulting with a lawyer sooner rather than later will give you a broad overview of all the things you need to consider in the estate planning process for your real estate. If you have a vacation property or a primary home, the most important question to ask is whether or not it is designated as tenancy-in-common or joint tenancy. In a joint tenancy situation, two individuals own the property with equal shares. This means that if one person passes away, the ownership of the property is automatically transferred to the other owner without a will. This is classified as right of survivorship. All that is necessary in order to retain ownership is to get a copy of the death certificate recorded for the deceased joint tenant.

Common tenancy, on the other hand, means that two or more individuals own a property in varying portions. Joint tenancy means that equal shares are maintained by individuals at the same time but common tenancy can occur where owners are added or removed from the property’s co-ownership.

Tenants-in-common do not have survivorship rights unless the deceased’s will classifies that his or her interest in such a property is to be divided amongst surviving owners. Otherwise the share of the property goes to his or her real estate and a will can direct where that share will go. After an individual inherits a property, he or she is subject to whatever mortgage exists. That person needs to put together a will as quickly as possible in the event that he or she were to become incapacitated or pass away. The heir can then choose to sell or to keep the property.

 

Lessons from the Joan Rivers Estate

September 30, 2014

Filed under: Asset Protection Planning,Beneficiaries,Estate Administration,Estate Planning For Business Owners,Estate Taxes,Home Probate,Pets,Probate,Trusts — Tags: — Neel Shah @ 9:28 pm

Joan Rivers was heralded as a stellar performer, but she also left behind a legacy as an incredible businesswoman. Her estate included income, collectibles, and real estate that was estimated in value between $150 million and $250 million. She left behind detailed instructions for her assets after her death, which is rare in a society when many celebrity deaths highlight the weaknesses of their estate plans. Photo Credit: breitbart.com

Looking at her careful planning, there are a few key lessons: be prepared for the unexpected, outline plans for pets, and correctly title the assets. Joan Rivers was also masterful in giving her family a brief overview of the estate plans to help improve clarity and reduce the possibility of arguments. Rivers made use of family trusts to reduce the tax burden for her beneficiaries and titled her assets

appropriately to allow for the smooth transition of business assets. This act alone helped to diminish her capital gains taxes.

Regardless of the size of your estate, proper planning allows you to pass on assets to your heirs in the most efficient manner while minimizing the tax liability. Contact our offices today for a consultation for your business and personal needs through email at info@lawesq.net or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455.

“Mom, Can You Co-sign?”: Did a Family Member Participate in Your Loan?

December 26, 2013

Filed under: Estate Administration,Home Probate,Home Protection,Probate — Neel Shah @ 9:00 am

Often, young adults ask other family members to participate in a loan to assist the young adult in purchasing his or her first home. As a recent article explains, this can become extraordinarily problematic at the family member’s death.

Even though the family member pays little or nothing towards the home, his or her name will usually be added to the title. This gives him or her an ownership interest in the home. If the family member’s estate leaves the home to those who actually paid for it, no problems will arise.

However, if the family member’s estate does not deal with the title, the homeowners may have a legal battle on their hands. In this situation, the decedent’s beneficiaries may fight to have the decedent’s portion of the home included in the estate. These battles especially arise if there is already animosity or distrust within the family.

To avoid this outcome, be sure to discuss it with the person who participated in your home loan. Ask them how their ownership interest is disposed of in their will. If this never happens and you are worried that you may become the target of such a lawsuit, be sure to keep documentation proving that the third party never paid anything towards the loan.