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Mary Ann Pidgeon

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Mrs. Pidgeon loves the practice of law. She graduated from Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 1975 and was admitted to the bar in the State of Pennsylvania in 1975. She was admitted in New Jersey in 1977. Her first legal job was working for the City of Pittsburgh as an Assistant City Solicitor from 1975-1977. In 1977, she returned to New Jersey and served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Criminal Justice from 1977-1983. During that time, she argued a case before the Supreme Court of New Jersey and served as the Director of New Jersey’s Victim Witness Program.

In 1986, Mrs. Pidgeon started to represent real estate clients while raising her family. The practice grew and expanded to include preparation of Last Wills and Testaments. In order to provide the best estate planning service possible, Mrs. Pidgeon spent five years studying for her Masters in Law in Taxation at Villanova University School of Law, which she received in 2004.

To better understand the principles of municipal law, Mrs. Pidgeon earned a Diplomate in New Jersey Municipal Law Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys in 1994.

Pidgeon & Pidgeon, P.C. will work with you to provide for your family upon your death and also to minimize your exposure to federal and state taxes.

This planning includes the preparation of the Last Will and Testament, as well as any trusts, such as an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, that may be advisable. As part of your estate plan, you should also provide for end of life decisions by signing a Living Will which enables you to decide what treatment you should receive if you are terminally ill and to designate an agent to make those decisions for you if you are unable to do so. A Durable Power of Attorney designating your spouse or some other person to handle your affairs if you are incapacitated is also recommended.

Mary Ann Pidgeon will assist families who have lost a loved one. This is a very sensitve time for the survivors and our firm will assist in the administration of the estate. Personal and attentive service will help the Executor address all the tasks necessary to complete the probate process. Probate is the legal process of giving someone authority to pay the bills and distribute the assets of an estate.

First, our firm assists with the probate of the Will by assisting the Executor complete the county information form and sending the form to the county Surrogate together with the original Last Will and Testament. The county in which the deceased resided is the proper county to send the documentation. The Surrogate will send documents to the Executor who will sign the documents in the presence of a notary and return them to the Surrogate with a check. Usually the fees are about $200.

Second, in the event that the deceased did not have a Last Will and Testament, it is even more important to have an experienced attorney help the survivors navigate the legal requirements to probate the estate. In this case a bond must be posted to insure that the Administrator of the estate performs the role in the proper fiduciary capacity. A motion to be appointed is filed in Superior Court and the costs exceed the cost of preparing a Last Will and Testament.

Third, the assets and debts of the deceased have to assembled. This can be difficult if the deceased does not leave an organized list of assets and the name of a contact person to discuss transferring the assets to the beneficiaries. Our firm will help locate all the assets and accounts. Assets that do not pass through probate such as IRA’s and life insurance must also be transferred. We assist in tracking down all the debts and making sure they are paid.

If there are more debts than assets, our firm may assist in filing a motion to allow the sale of the real estate, if any. The court may order the debtors to reduce the amount of their claims so the property may be sold and as many debts paid as possible.

Fourth, one debt may be New Jersey taxes. There is no New Jersey Estate tax as long as the decedent gives his or her property to Class A beneficiaries, that is spouse, children and grandchildren. If you leave your assets to anyone other than a child, spouse or charity, an Inheritance Tax will be assessed. We will prepare the Inheritance Tax Return so this debt will be satisfied. If the deceased owned real estate in New Jersey a tax return must be filed or an L-9 must be requested from the Division of Taxation. When the L-9 is recorded in the county, the inchoate tax lien is removed and the property may be sold or the proceeds released to the beneficiaries.

Fifth, the law requires that an accounting be prepared showing all the assets, debts and the amount left to the beneficiaries. Pidgeon & Pidgeon will assemble all the figures and provide a detailed list of all the assets, debts and expenses of the estate. The accounting shows the amount left to the beneficiaries. When this accounting is approved by all the beneficiaries, we prepare Release and Refunding Bonds which are recorded in the office of the county Surrogate after they are signed by all the beneficiaries. Then estate administration is complete.

Mrs. Pidgeon, who is a member and Past President of the Real Estate Section of the Mercer County Bar Association, has handled thousands of residential and commercial real estate closings throughout New Jersey.

As your attorneys in a real estate transaction, we will represent your interests every step of the way, starting with the contract. Contracts prepared by Realtors must have an attorney review period. It is imperative that you provide the contract to us during that period so that we can make any changes that are necessary.

Practice Areas

  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration and Probate
  • Commercial and Residential Real Estate

Admitted

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

Law School

  •  Rutgers Law School, Newark, Juris Doctor, 1975
  •  Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Masters in Taxation 2004

College

  • University of Pittsburgh, B.A., Political Science, 1972

Member

  • Member: New Jersey State Bar Association (Member: Real Estate and Trusts and Estates Section)
  • Member: Bar of the State of Pennsylvania
  • Mercer County Bar Association (Member: Real Estate Section: President 1999 and Trustee, 1998-2001)
  • District Ethics Committee
    • District VIII 2005-2008
    • District VII 2021-2024
  • Women’s Council of Realtors – Mercer County Chapter
    • Strategic Partner, Treasurer