When a parent passes away, the children of the deceased as well as the executor of the estate may have certain challenges when attempting to liquidate the estate’s assets. An estate planning attorney in New Jersey can be helpful for guiding executors through this process.
In plenty of estates, the home belonging to the parent may be the biggest asset inside the estate. It requires special involvement and is relatively illiquid. The transfer of real estate is not always easy. How the deed is titled at the time the person passes away will have a specific impact on how the property can be transferred. If you don’t currently have a copy of the deed, contact the county recorder’s office. There are several different types of deed issues that can impact transfer. These include:
- Joint tenancy. If the home was owned in joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety, this joint owner or surviving spouse automatically becomes the new property owner and a new deed is not required.
- Sole ownership. The property has to go through probate before passing to the heir or heirs designated in the will.
- In trust. Property can eb left to a variety of trusts and in this case a new deed would have to be prepared by the estate executor and recorded in the county clerk’s office.
- Without joint tenancy. If the will specifies another person or people to whom legal ownership of the property should pass, a new deed will be required.
- Fiduciary authority. The executor has the right to dispose of the property at a private or public sale unless the will specifies another disposition.
The support of an experienced estate planning attorney can be very helpful in navigating this complex process.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455.
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.