Questions and or matters always arise as to how you may have to administer to a decedents estates where the decedent does not have a Will or any valid Will. In the State of New Jersey, if no Will or no valid Will exists, then estate administration will be required by the County Surrogate where the decedent resided. In the state of New Jersey, all estate probate matters go through the County Surrogate Court. The Surrogate Court will require a valid Will and the death certificate and other documents to then distribute the required legal documents, which are know as “Letters Testamentary” for an executor of a valid Will lodged for probate, or “Letters of Administration” for the administrator where no Will nor any valid Will exists. Very often the County Surrogate will also require a Bond to be posted in administration matters, where in probate matters often times the Will sets forth that no Bond is required. The estate process required by the State of New Jersey when someone dies is to make sure the decedent’s assets pass properly to their descendants, and to insure that any taxes or lien’s owed to the State or other parties are satisfied. Again, when no Will or Trust exists, estate administration will be required and can be more complex. Also, a decedent’s real and personal property will not be distributed according to any verbal or unwritten intentions, but rather be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the State of New Jersey. That is why estate planning with a Will or Trust is important, and where if a person dies with assets, but no Will or Trust, an administrator for the estate will be required to be appointed by the Surrogate Court. However, if any assets, accounts, or property are owned/titled jointly, then they are usually not subject to probate nor administration, as same is not necessary because ownership automatically is transferred to the surviving titled owner; however, tax filings may be required. All are subject to the estate probate process. How long the process takes, however, is simply not predictable nor entirely within anyone’s control. We can support you with estate planning and related matters, as well as a current review and analysis of your current estate planning. Contact us and all of your team of trusted advisors to assist with same. Reach out as to your estate and other planning matters as now is a always a prime time to address same.
DiMedio Law is a New Jersey law firm whose practice includes Estate Planning, Administration, Business Services & Succession Planning and related Real Estate and other matters. Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 856-428-5577.
DISCLAIMER: This advisory is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and may not be used and relied upon as a substitute for legal advice regarding a specific legal issue or problem. Advice should be obtained from a qualified attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where that advice is sought.