How long does an executor have to settle an estate in New Jersey?

Is There a Time Limit on Settling an Estate in New Jersey?

A recent study found that even though more than 56% of Americans believe wills are important, less than 30% have a will or a trust. Will’s establish your affairs after you have passed and state where your assets will go. However, how long does it take to settle a will? 

Don’t worry; you can find out with this NJ executor guide! We’ve investigated the amount of time it takes to settle an estate, that way, you can learn more about estate law today.

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s a quick look at closing an estate in NJ:

Regular New Jersey Probate: One Year or Less 

After probate opens, the executor’s job is to ensure the satisfaction of each creditor. Each creditor has nine months from the decedent’s passing to claim the estate.

After nine months, and if there are no unpaid or pending claims, the executor can distribute the assets and issue a declaration of discharge. Closing an estate can take just a little over nine months if there’s no litigation, no problems determining beneficiaries, and no creditor issues.

However, that is, of course, without any difficulties; if there are a few problems in your case, it can take up to a full year. 

Simplified Probate: A Few Weeks 

If the deceased did not leave behind a will or a large estate, the family members could utilize the simplified probate procedures under NJ estate law. However, the simplified probate is only approved if:

  • The estate is valued at under $20,000 
  • The surviving spouse or partner is given all of the assets, or there is no living partner 
  • An heir, with written consent from any other heirs, files with the court to receive all the assets

Complicated Estates: Over Two or More Years  

Probates aren’t always easy; if a decedent owned a business, had a variety of creditors, or had many beneficiaries, the estate would take longer to settle. The most common reason is due to litigation. But, of course, when there is more money and many people in the picture, there will be a dispute over it. 

Probate can occur for several years if a will is contested, and litigation will follow suit for another year or so. Common causes for litigation include accusations of the executor breaching their duties and other breaches during probate. Due to litigation, it’s hard to determine how long probate will take, but it’s estimated litigation estates take more than two years to settle.

Use This NJ Executor Guide Today  

Closing an estate is frequently a complicated process. But, thanks to this NJ executor guide, you now know what to expect and the allotted timeframes. 

Not all estates will be complex and drawn out; some will take just a few weeks to process before probate. However, others will take the standard nine months to over two years to process to ensure that the creditors are satisfied and the will is correct. 

For more information about being a New Jersey executor, contact New Jersey Executor today. We look forward to assisting you!

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