Probate or administration of an estate in New Jersey allows an authorized individual to act on behalf of a deceased person’s estate. The process can be difficult and is not easy to predict how it will proceed or as to timing of same. Probate proceedings involve a valid and properly executed/notarized Last Will & Testament; otherwise an estate administration application will have to be applied for to then receive authorization. New Jersey County Surrogate’s offices will issue either letters Testamentary as to Probate matters, or Letters of Administration if no will exists or any will is not accepted/lodged for probate. The executor or administrator of the estate should consult with an attorney as soon as possible as to probate or administration. The Executor of the Will will often be able to avoid posting a bond upon receiving Letters Testamentary and Short Certificate, to then marshal assets, file any tax returns required, transfer title to property, ascertain estate debts and pay same, and then distribute the estate assets as per the will. An Administrator of an estate will typically be required to post a bond, to then receive Letters of Administration and Short Certificates showing authority as to the estate administration. The main difference is that additional steps are required to authorize the Surrogate to discharges the bond so the Estate/Administrator does not have to pay for the bond any longer, which requires a refunding bond and release to be executed by all parties of interest.
We can help you with estate planning, probate or administration matters. Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 856-428-5577.