NJ Laws Directions to Ken Vercammen and Associates Ken Vercammen's Resume Ken Vercammen articles

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
A Law Office with Experienced Attorneys for Your New Jersey Legal Needs

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison NJ 08817
732-572-0500
1-800-655-2977

Personal Injury and Criminal
on Weekends 732-261-4005

Princeton Area
68 South Main St.
Cranbury, NJ 08512
By Appointment Only
Toll Free 800-655-2977


Probate Answers

Probate is the process where after death the instructions of the Will are carried out. Will is admitted to “Probate” in the County Surrogate. Some people refer to the Surrogate as the Will Clerk. Upon the death of the testator or testatrix (maker of the Will), the probate procedure can begin. This is the legal process which establishes the genuineness of the Will. It is done by the Surrogate in the county where the testator or testatrix resided at the time of death.

The probate application must contain the following information:

1. the applicant's residence;?

2. the name, domicile and date of death of the decedent;?

3. the names and addresses of the decedent's spouse, heirs (those entitled to take under the laws of interstate succession), and any person named to serve as Executor;?

4. the ages of any minor heirs; and?

5. the names of the testator's children when the Will was made and the names of children born and adopted after the Will was made, or their children, if any.

To minimize time spent in the Surrogate, it is recommended, and in some counties required, that before an Executor submits the Will for probate the executor’s attorney or executor send the Court:

1) a data sheet (referred to in some counties as an information sheet or a fact sheet) containing the information needed by the Surrogate to complete the application;

2) a copy of the Will; and

3) a copy of the death certificate.

 

FILING A PROBATE APPLICATION Upon the death of a person, a probate proceeding may be commenced by offering the decedent's (the dead person's ) last Will for probate in the Surrogate's Court of the county in which the decedent was domiciled at death. R. 4:80-1(a). Generally, the Executor nominated in the Will brings the proceeding by filing a verified application with the Court.

 

When the applicant files the original Will for probate, the applicant must also file a death certificate (and original with a raised seal). A filing fee of approximately $150 must be paid. Once the Will, application and death certificate are filed, the Surrogate will review the papers, and if there are no irregularities or objections, admit the Will to probate. Although New Jersey law prohibits admission of a Will to probate within 10 days of the testator's death, an applicant may submit the application prior to expiration of the 10-day period. If the Will is filed after the 10-day waiting period, many Courts will issue a judgment for probate contemporaneously with the filing of the probate papers.

Qualifying the Executor

Once the Will is admitted to probate, the Court will issue letters testamentary to an Executor who has properly qualified to serve. An Executor named in a Will qualifies to serve by filing a form affidavit in which the Executor agrees to perform his or her duties. The nominated Executor must also provide a power of attorney to the Surrogate empowering the Surrogate to accept service of process of claims against the estate. Once the Executor qualifies, the Court then issues letters testamentary.

Mailing Probate Notices

After a Will is admitted to probate, the Executor’s Attorney or Executor must mail within 60 days a notice of probate to the decedent's spouse, heirs and all beneficiaries under the Will. The notice of probate should contain the executor's name and address, place and date that the Will was probated, and an offer to furnish a copy of the Will upon request. Within 10 days of mailing the notice the Executor’s Attorney or Executor should file proof of service of the notice with the Surrogate's Court. Once notice of probate has been sent and proof of mailing has been filed the probate process is essentially completed.

Completing the probate process should cause only minimal delay, perhaps a few weeks, in administering a decedent's affairs. The cost of admitting a Will to probate should be limited. Unlike in some other states, the Surrogate's filing fee in New Jersey is the same regardless of the size of the estate. See Zimiles Probate is not a Dirty word in New Jersey N.J. Lawyer pg. 14 ( July/August 1992)

How do I begin the probate procedure?

The Executor or personal representative can be appointed and the Will admitted to probate in most cases by going to the Surrogate's Court with the original Will, certified death certificate, and, if the Will is not self-proven, at least one of the witnesses who signed the Will must prove the signature on the Will.

How is an administrator appointed when there is no Will?

When there is no Will, an administrator, administratrix or personal representative is appointed by the Surrogate's Court. The surviving spouse has the first right to apply for the position of administrator; however, any heir of the decedent may be appointed. When one of several heirs seeks to be appointed administrator, all other heirs must renounce their right to be appointed administrator. In most cases, a surety bond must be furnished to cover the value of the real and personal property in the estate.

What kind of information should I collect?

The decedent's personal representative should make a list of all of the next of kin of the person who died, along with their degree of relationship, addresses and ages.

What if the Will is not properly executed?

The Surrogate will advise the personal representative as to the proper procedure in order to allow the Will to be admitted to probate. This procedure normally involves a formal hearing before a Judge of the Superior Court.

How soon must state inheritance taxes be paid?

State inheritance tax returns must be filed and the tax paid within eight (8) months after decedent's death to avoid interest.

Are unpaid inheritance taxes a lien on property?

Yes, to sell real estate, you Will need to obtain tax waivers from the New Jersey State Transfer Inheritance 'Tax Bureau, and the waivers must be filed with the County Clerk in the county where the land is located. Land held by husband and wife as tenants by the entirety need not be reported and may be transferred without a waiver. Other property may be subject to a lien for unpaid inheritance taxes such as bank accounts and certificates of deposit.

How about federal estate taxes?

In 2008 there is no federal tax due unless the estate exceeds $2,000,000. However, there is a New Jersey Estate tax for estates over $675,000.

There is also an unlimited federal marital deduction, which means unlimited amounts of property can be transferred between spouses without estate of gift taxes.

How many Surrogate's Certificates (Shorts) Will I need?

A list of all of the assets of the estate should also be prepared to help determine the number of Surrogate's Certificates that must be issued by the probate clerk in the Surrogate's Office.

When is the Will admitted to probate?

After all the proper forms are filed with the probate clerk, the clerk will prepare a judgment which admits the Will to probate. The Surrogate then signs the judgment and issues Letters Testamentary.

What are Surrogate's Certificates used for?

Surrogate's Certificates act as evidence of the authority of the personal representative ( Executor, Administrator, Trustee ) to act. These certificates are necessary to accomplish certain tasks such as transferring stocks, closing bank accounts, etc.

Is it necessary to send copies of the Will to the beneficiaries?

From the time the Will is probated, the Executer has 60 days to mail all beneficiaries a notice that they can be provided with a copy of the Will, along with a notice giving the specific date and place the Will was entered into probate. See Zimiles Probate is not a Dirty word in New Jersey N.J. Lawyer

Basically, what is the Executor/Administrator required to do?

The Executor or Administrator is, in general, required to collect and safeguard all of the assets of the estate and eventually to pay the debts of the decedent, as well as any taxes due, and be able to provide an accounting of his actions to the beneficiaries or heirs. An Executor or Administrator must obtain the necessary legal documents, called either LETTERS TESTAMENTARY (for an Executor) or LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION (for an Administrator), are obtained through the Surrogate in the county in which the DECEDENT (the deceased person) resided at the time of death.

The duties of the personal representative include:

* - finding the Will and having it PROBATED. Probate is the legal procedure used to establish the validity of a Will.?* - locating and protecting the assets of the estate.?* - finding and notifying the heirs.?* - paying the debts, expenses, and taxes of the estate from the assets of the estate.?* - complying with the requirements of state and federal law.?* - distributing property to the heirs after all proper procedures have been followed.

Is an attorney necessary in estate administration?

As a practical matter, it is very difficulty for a non-lawyer to correctly follow the required procedures in administering an estate without the assistance of an attorney. The personal representative selects the attorney for the estate. You may wish to call your attorney to give you further advice as to specific duties and obligations.

Where does the Executor/Administrator obtain the funds to pay debts?

The Executor may, in most cases, withdraw up to one-half of the funds in the decedent's New Jersey bank accounts. Generally, the Executor should open an estate checking account which can be used to receive and disburse funds.

Am I entitled to compensation for acting as Executor or Administrator?

An Executor or Administrator is entitled to corpus commissions of 5% of the first $200,000.00 of estate assets subject to administration, 3-1/2% on the excess over $200,000.00 up to $1,000,000.00 and 2% or such other percentage as the Court may determine on the excess over $1,000,000.00.

If there is more than one Executor or Administrator, an additional 1% corpus commission may be allowed by the Court for each additional Executor or Administrator.

In addition to corpus commissions, an Executor or Administrator is entitled to income commissions of 6% of income earned on estate corpus during the administration of the estate.

What do I do about a safe deposit box in the name of the decedent ?

Individuals generally keep their Will in their safe deposit box. The personal representative is permitted to remove the original Will, as well as a deed to a cemetery plot and certain life insurance policies from the decedent's safe deposit box before probate without a representative of the Inheritance Tax Bureau present. Thereafter, the box is sealed until the District Supervisor of the New jersey Transfer Inheritance Tax Bureau opens and makes an inventory of the contents of the box. It is the responsibility of the personal representative to contact the District Supervisor of the county in which the box is located to arrange for an appointment for this inventory.

How do I handle joint bank accounts or certificates of deposit?

Certain bank accounts and certificates may be owned with rights of survivorship, which means that upon the death of one party to the account, the surviving party (or parties) become the sole owner (or owners). If the decedent maintained such an account, the survivor Will be able to withdraw on-half of the funds in the account by giving the bank a Death Certificate and without the need to provide anything from the Surrogate. The other half will not be released until a tax waiver is issued by the New Jersey Transfer Inheritance Tax Bureau, normally after the tax is paid and the return is filed.

Is all this paperwork necessary even on small estates?

There is a procedure whereby the assets of small estates can be transferred to the surviving spouse without the necessity of administration. The spouse files an affidavit stating, among other things, that the decedent had no Will and that all of the real and personal assets of the decedent do not exceed $10,000.

 

How do I prove that legacies were paid?

The Executor has a duty to pay the legacies or distribute shares as provided for under the Will; however, when he /she does so, he/she must take a Release and Refunding Bond from the person taking the share. The Refunding Bond is then forwarded to the Surrogate for filing and recording.

What if there is no Will?

If the decedent dies without a Will (intestate), there is a statute which determines to whom the decedent's property is to be distributed according to the degree of family relationship.

 

   
FOR POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO CONTACT US DURING NON-BUSINESS HOURS, PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM.
Name:
Cell Phone:
E-Mail Address


If You Do Not Include a Complete E-Mail Address, Network will not Forward Your Contact Form to the Law Office.

Details of the Case
Agree
By typing " agree" into the box you are confirming that you wish to send your information to the Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen

Change Image
Write the characters in the image above
kenv
Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
Receive free NJ Laws Email newsletter with current laws and cases

New Article of the Week

Meet with an experienced Attorney to handle your important legal needs.
Please call the office to schedule a confidential "in Office" consultation.
Attorneys are not permitted to provide legal advice by email.

Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.

In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.

Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.

If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!

Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.

When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you don't protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.

Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.

You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.

Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.

I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.

Reduce the stress of making a claim.

Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.

p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.

This means:
YOU DON'T OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.

Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500

Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.

Admitted In NJ, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court.

Contact the Law Office of
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
at 732-572-0500
for an appointment.

The Law Office cannot provide legal advice or answer legal questions over the phone or by email. Please call the Law office and schedule a confidential "in office" consultation.

Ken Vercammen articles.

Ken Vercammen's Resume
Directions to Ken Vercammen and Associates




Disclaimer This web site is purely a public resource of general New Jersey information (intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date). It is not intended be a source of legal advice, do not rely on information at this site or others in place of the advice of competent counsel. The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen complies with the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct. This web site is not sponsored or associated with any particular linked entity unless specifically stated. The existence of any particular link is simply intended to imply potential interest to the reader, inclusion of a link should not be construed as an endorsement.

Copyright 2014. Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.