Dealing with Jewish Death

introduction

Handling the loss of a loved one can be a challenging situation to go through. Our guide will help you navigate the logistics, paperwork, and other practical steps you need to take after they pass away.

While you must make some decisions immediately, most can be postponed until you’re emotionally ready. Depending on the size of your loved one’s estate, you may need someone to administer it. However, it all depends on your family’s unique situation and the estate size. Many small ones may not even need administration at all. 

There are also scenarios where multiple heirs may be involved. If this is your case, keep them engaged in every step to avoid disagreements, especially when the deceased did not leave a will. 

We understand that managing everything after your loved one passes can be overwhelming. But with some detailed planning, expert advice, and family support, handling these tasks can be manageable. 

What to consider after the funeral

Death Certificates

As you file your paperwork, you may need multiple copies of your family member’s certified death certificate. Our funeral directors at Jeffer & Harris can assist with obtaining these copies, with costs typically between $10 and $30 for each one based on the jurisdiction. 

Securing The Deceased’s Property

After your loved one passes, ensuring their property is taken care of is essential, especially if no one else lives there. Call the newspaper to stop deliveries and the local post office to hold your loved one’s mail until someone can pick it up. If you can, have someone upkeep the property semi-regularly until it’s sold or someone moves in. 

Once the place sells, the amount everyone receives will depend on the arrangements your loved one made. 

Immediate Financial Considerations

There are also many financial matters to consider, such as: 

Transfer Of Estate Property

Probate is the legal process of distributing assets after a person dies. New Jersey’s probate procedures are typically straightforward, and most small estates require minimal court intervention. The deceased’s representative would transfer assets based on the will if the deceased had one. If they didn’t, everything would be divided based on state probate laws. 

Appointment Of An Executor Or Administrator

This person will be in charge of the property, its distribution, and necessary court filings. In some cases, the executor is named in the will. However, if no will exists, the state court will appoint the surviving spouse or a close relative as the Estate Administrator.

A few of their primary responsibilities are to

After the process, the court will allow the executor to administer the estate as stated in the deceased person’s will. This process includes managing assets, paying off debts, filing and paying taxes, and appraising the property. It is also the executor’s responsibility to notify the court that the estate has been fully distributed to every beneficiary. 

Small Estates

Under New Jersey law, a simplified probate proceeding is acceptable for “small estates.” If the property’s total value doesn’t exceed $50,000 and the surviving spouse is the only beneficiary, or under $20,000 if there’s only one heir and no surviving spouse, it would fall under the state’s small estate clause. The representative would sign an affidavit form to the court and claim the deceased’s assets. 

Joint Tenancy

Property held in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship will typically have the deceased’s property transferred under their name. All you need to do is provide a copy of the death certificate and fill out a simple form to complete the process. 

Taxes

Even if your loved one has passed, the deceased’s representative will still be responsible for filing taxes, including property taxes, before the April 15 deadline. They must also notify the IRS and New Jersey Division of Taxation of the death. However, you can contact their offices to receive an extension if you still need more time to obtain the decedent’s information. 

Federal Taxes

If the deceased person had an estate, they may be subject to a “death tax” in certain situations. The federal government’s estate tax rate is 18 to 40 percent, depending on its worth. However, the IRS will exempt estates under $12.92 million in 2023. If you need to file a tax return, everything should be filed and paid within nine months of the person’s death. Contact your local IRS office for more information and the appropriate forms.

USEFUL CONTACT NUMBERS

New Jersey Division of Taxation: 609-322-6057
NJ Division of Veteran Affairs: 609-530-4600
NJ Crime Compensation Office: 973-648-2107 or 877-658-2221
NJ Department of Labor: (609) 292-2259
Medicaid: 1-800-701-0710 
Social Security Information: 1-800-772-1213
Federal Tax Information and Assistance: 1-800-829-1040

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