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Probate is just one way your estate may be challenged

This estate planning and estate administration law blog has provided New Jersey readers with a myriad of articles regarding ways that they can ensure asset and wealth protection as they consider what to do with their money at the ends of their lives. Wills, trusts and many other testamentary devices all come together in a person's estate plan to create a solid structure for how the person's wealth will be managed when the person dies. Probate, or the legal process by which an estate is administered following the planner's death, can present legal challenges to that estate when a decedent's plan is potentially flawed.

However, other regularly occurring challenges as well as some challenges that may seem unexpected can also prevent a decedent's estate plan from being fully realized. For example, an estate planner's failure to consider the implications of the inheritance tax may place undue burdens on the estate as well as the parties that may collect at the time the estate is administered. Additionally, poor asset valuation may not fully recognize the worth of certain estate-administered assets and may leave beneficiaries with less than they should have received under an estate plan.

Finally, challenges to the testamentary devices of a person's estate may tie up estate assets for a long time after the decedent passes on. If individuals question the capacity of a decedent to create a will or the language of a trust document's instructions, an estate and its presumptive beneficiaries may face costly litigation instead the completion of the estate's administration.

Just as it is impossible to do in other areas of the law, there are no foolproof ways to prevent all challenges to estate plans. There are ways, however, to improve one's chances of creating a challenge-resistant estate plan. Working with legal professionals, like those of the Donnelly Ritigstein Law Offices, who practice estate planning and estate administration law is a good way to bring legal knowledge to a person's estate planning process. To learn more about how our firm's services may help people create a solid plan for getting through probate, please visit our website.

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