A gross taxable estate includes assets that maintain an interest upon an individual’s death, regardless of whether the assets pass by way of a last will and testament. A gross taxable estate includes gifts made during an individual’s lifetime that exceed $14,000 per person per year. Also, a gross taxable estate includes property transferred during a person’s life that he or she retains an interest in. This means that, if the property is transferred to another individual but one retained a life estate in the property, then it is part of the gross taxable estate. Also, the interest that is payable upon someone’s death, such as a property or life insurance policy, may be deemed as part of the gross taxable estate.
When someone contests a Last Will and Testament, they are objecting to its validity. In order to contest a Will in New Jersey, an individual must have “standing,” or locus standi. To have standing, or locus standi, the individual must be considered a person with an interest in the estate, such as legal heir. Anyone named in a prior Last Will and Testament may also have standing to contest a Will, if the Will entered into probate removes or reduces the share that person or group would have received in a prior Will.
An inventory of assets is a form that may be required by the Surrogate’s Court. The form must be completed and delivered to the court by either the fiduciary of the estate or, at the request of the fiduciary, it may be provided by the attorney on record.
It is important to create a comprehensive estate plan, and there are certain measures that one can take to avoid probate if done correctly. Probate is the legal process whereby a last will and testament is determined to be valid and authentic by a court of law. Under New Jersey State Law, the will is admitted to probate when the executor files a “Petition for Probate” with the decedent’s will attached. Additionally, if the decedent died without a will, then an administrator would apply with the Surrogate. Probate proceedings take place in the county surrogate’s court where the decedent resided at the time of their death.