How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11315
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Type Your Legal Question Here...
ScottyMacEsq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Name isXXXXX Listed below is some background

Resolved Question:

My Name isXXXXX

Listed below is some background for Questions regarding
Probate, Property, and Taxes as it relates to the dealth of my mother ....

My Mother died (Joan Murphy) on June 9, 2012 in New Jersey .....
She lived at Arden Court West Orange New Jersey (Essex County New Jersey)

She was never married ....
I am her only son ....
I was her Guardian before she died ....
She has no assets other than two properties
She has no Will That I can find (futher discussed below)

Two Properties ....
Property One - Gutternberg NJ, Hudson County
Joint tenanacy with Son .... (Value $290,000 - $300,000)

Property Two - Ocean Grove NJ, Monmoth County,
Tenenacy in Common with Son ... ($440,000 - 475,000)

I assume I have to go to probate to turn over her property to me ....
That is the premise for my following questions ...

Questions ....

What County In New Jersey , based on above info, should I go to to start the Probate Process? Does it matter? She lived at Arden Court (Essex County), however sme of her mail (Pension info etc) was sent toXXXXX where I live, some when to her ....

What is the Probate Process i.e., What Steps are Required?
What will the transfer costs on the properties be based on the above scenarios when I move the properties to My Name?
Note: I am assuming I want have to pay estate tax in New Jersey based on the values outlined above , AM i Correct?
She alluded to a Will in a safety deposit box that she might have created in 1978, I wouldn't know how to find it? Any Suggestions?
Assuming I am the Beneficiary of that will, What is the difference in terms of taxes ramifications if the WIll leaves everything to me or if, or, assuming no will, If I go probate?
Are there Probate Costs In New Jersey?
Are there any other questions That I am not thinking of?

NOte: I assume I need a lawyer for this stuff .... But I want to be educated going into the discussion with the lawyer, that is why I am aksing all these questions ...

Thanks
Greg
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

 

First of all, you need to know that the joint tenancy property most likely does not need to be probated. Most joint tenancies are "right of survivorship" properties, meaning that they automatically pass to the surviving joint tenant upon the death of the other joint tenant. Your probate attorney would better be able to review the deed to make certain, but if that's the case, this would not be considered to be part of the estate, and thus not part of any estate tax calculation. Only the tenancy in common property would need to be transferred to you, and only her half of the property (since you already own half).


What County In New Jersey , based on above info, should I go to to start the Probate Process? Does it matter? She lived at Arden Court (Essex County), however some of her mail (Pension info etc) was sent toXXXXX where I live, some when to her .... - You would need to file in the county where she resided at the time of her death.

What is the Probate Process i.e., What Steps are Required? - The probate process in a situation such as this would be pretty simple. You would need an attorney to assist you in this regard. You would file a petition to probate the intestate (without a will) estate, asking to be named as the administrator of the estate. Once the court approves you, swears you in as administrator, and gives you "letters of administration", you can use those to transfer any accounts, assets, etc... into your name. You would also need to take care of any debts that she had at the time of her death. It's only complicated when there are a lot of assets and debts, and/or if there are a lot of individuals contesting the distribution of the assets.


What will the transfer costs on the properties be based on the above scenarios when I move the properties to My Name? -
The realty transfer fee (RTF) does not apply to sales for less than $100, or those transactions made between husbands and wives or parents and children. Changing a deed to your name would not impose a realty transfer fee either. There are recording fees (around $10 or so) that depend on the county, so I would check with the county clerk of the county where the property is located.


Note: I am assuming I want have to pay estate tax in New Jersey based on the values outlined above , AM i Correct?
Actually, probably not. New Jersey collects both an inheritance tax and its own estate tax, separate from the federal estate tax. Under current law, estates with a total value of more than $675,000 are subject to the New Jersey estate tax. The governor, however, has proposed raising the exemption to $1 million.

There is also an inheritance tax in New Jersey. It’s different from the estate tax because it applies to estates of any size, but the tax rate is based on how closely each inheritor is related to the deceased person. Class A beneficiaries are exempt from the inheritance tax. They includes the deceased person’s:

  • spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner
  • parent or grandparent
  • child (biological, adopted, or mutually acknowledged)
  • stepchild (but not step grandchild or great-step grandchild)
  • grandchild or other lineal descendant of a child

As such, since the only property subject to the transfer would be the property that you hold in common with her, and it would only be half of that value (since you own the other half) it most likely would be under this $675000 limit for taxes. And no inheritance taxes would be owed.

 

She alluded to a Will in a safety deposit box that she might have created in 1978, I wouldn't know how to find it? Any Suggestions? - That's hard to say. Once you're named as administrator of the estate, you can take the letters of administration to her bank, etc... and see if they have a safe deposit box in her name. But until you do have one, go on the assumption that she did not have a current, valid will.


Assuming I am the Beneficiary of that will, What is the difference in terms of taxes ramifications if the WIll leaves everything to me or if, or, assuming no will, If I go probate? No difference. A will is an expression of intent upon death, but if there is no will, then the property would pass under state laws of "intestate administration", which essentially means that it goes to a spouse in full or part, and if no spouse, then to children.


Are there Probate Costs In New Jersey? There are costs to file for probate, yes, which vary from county to county. These typically run $200 to $300, but additional fees could be added if you need to give notice, etc... Your attorney can assist in that regard.


Are there any other questions That I am not thinking of? Not off the top of my head.

 

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can I file a a petition to probate the intestate and then when I am named Administrator use the lawyer to dot the 'i' and cross the "t"s ....



Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
One need not be a lawyer to serve as an executor, administrator, or guardian. However, the executor, administrator, or guardian must be represented by counsel. As executor of a decedent’s estate, you don’t represent only yourself. An executor represents the interests of beneficiaries and creditors. This responsibility to act for the benefit of another is known as a fiduciary relationship. It gives rise to certain legal obligations and responsibilities that require legal expertise. The attorney you hire represents you in your capacity as executor and assists you in representing those for whom you are responsible. And since this is a legal process, only if you're a lawyer could you file the matter with the court. Anyone can represent himself or herself in court, but only a lawyer can represent another (even an estate). So that's why you're going to need to have a lawyer to file this paperwork.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11315
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
ScottyMacEsq and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.