Probate & Trust Administration

At Smith & Gaynor, LLC, we walk clients through the probate and trust administration processes, while working to minimize the stress and costs associated with settling an estate. Our goal is to make probate and trust administration as simple and understandable as possible, and even rewarding when you receive the results you — and the deceased — want at the conclusion of proceedings.

Our Probate Services

Probate is the court-supervised process by which a deceased person's assets are identified and gathered, applied to pay debts, and distributed to the decedent's beneficiaries. Assets may be given to beneficiaries named in a person's will or distributed to heirs according to New Jersey's laws governing intestate succession if the deceased died without a will.

Unfortunately, the probate process can sometimes be long, expensive, and intrusive. We assist executors, administrators, conservators, beneficiaries, heirs, and other interested individuals through the estate administration of their loved one, including:

  • Proving the will
  • Preparation of all probate documents in both testate and intestate matters
  • Collecting and evaluating assets, as well as paying valid debts
  • Presenting appropriate petitions for handling and sale of the estate
  • Disbursing assets to beneficiaries or heirs
  • Managing probate litigation, including will contests and disputes over valuations or accounting

By walking clients through the probate process, we are able to identify and avoid many issues that can slow down proceedings or make them more costly or stressful.

Trust Administration

For assets held in trust, we also assist with trust administration, helping to ensure all necessary steps are taken to administer the trust in a timely and efficient manner. If you are a trustee, our attorneys can help you provide notice of the trustor's death to all beneficiaries and heirs, conduct an inventory and appraisal of the trust estate, disburse assets, and complete any other actions necessary to appropriately administer the trust.

Often, trustees and beneficiaries are surprised by the numerous steps involved with trust administration. After all, trusts are said to avoid the delays and costs of probate. Rest assured, even though trust administration does require time and money, it generally still saves you months of your life and costs at least half as much as probate.

Contact Us for Help with Probate & Trust Administration in New Jersey

If you are looking for a New Jersey lawyer to help with probate or trust administration, please contact Smith & Gaynor, LLC, to schedule a consultation. An experienced attorney can greatly ease the process ahead of you.