If you have been named the executor or appointed as an administrator of an estate in New Hampshire, you will have a number of responsibilities. Depending on the size of the estate, probate can be a long and complicated matter. For this reason, it is essential to engage the services of an experienced probate and estate administration attorney to help you navigate the process.
DE Whiting LLC provides advice and counsel to executors and administrators in Concord, New London and Merrimack Counties. We will help you understand your obligations and assist you with carrying out your duties smoothly and efficiently.
What is probate?
Probate is a court-managed proceeding through which a deceased person’s assets are managed and distributed to beneficiaries. In New Hampshire, the Circuit Court Probate Division has jurisdiction over matters related to wills, trusts and estates.
If the decedent had a will in place, an executor is named to handle the estate. This individual is tasked with fulfilling the terms of the will and is responsible for carrying out a number of duties, including:
- Validating the will in the probate court
- Filing all required notices to beneficiaries
- Preparing an inventory and appraisal of the estate assets
- Paying outstanding debts from the estate proceeds
- Resolving creditor claims
- Distributing assets to the beneficiaries
- Closing the estate
It is important to note that certain types of assets do not need to be probated such as property in which title was held jointly, retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s, life insurance policies, bank accounts with pay on death designations and property owned by a revocable living trust.
Although there are no estate taxes in the state, it may be necessary to file and pay estate taxes imposed by the federal government. In addition, the estate may also need a final personal tax return, as well as, a fiduciary return.
DE Whiting LLC works with executors throughout the entire process including opening the estate, inventorying the assets, preparing the accounting, and filing the necessary taxes. In some cases, we may be able to expedite the process by seeking a waiver of administration or summary administration.
Lastly, when someone dies without a will in place (“intestate”), a close relative or friend will need to ask the court to be appointed as the administrator. The duties of the administrator are similar to those of an executor, however this individual must distribute the assets according to the states intestacy laws which gives preference to spouses, children and parents.
Dedicated Probate Administration Attorney in New Hampshire
DE Whiting, LLC has extensive experience working with executors and administrators and is well versed in the rules of the probate court. If you have been named an executor or lost a loved one who passed on without a will in place, we can help you navigate the probate or estate administration process. Call our office today for a free consultation.