An Administration C.T.A. (With the Will Annexed) occurs where (1) a testator fails to appoint an executor in his/her Will or (2) where the named executor has died, renounced or otherwise failed to serve prior to the application for probate and the Will names no alternate or substitute executor. (See information sheet for Probate)
The first right to apply for Letters of Administration With the Will Annexed is in the residuary clause of the Will. The residuary legatee is the person to whom a testator bequests the residue of his personal estate after payment of such legacies as specifically mentioned in the Will. If more than one residuary legatee is named, each would be equally entitled to make application.
If the Will contains no residuary clause, any part of the Will which disposes of property not expressly disposed of by other provisions of the Will, any of the next-of-kin may apply upon obtaining renunciations from the next-of-kin of the same degree of kinship to the testator.
It is necessary at the outset to ascertain certain information in order to do an Administration C.T.A. (See information Sheet for Probate).
1. Check the death certificate to determine which Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction. The Administration C.T.A. must be done in the county where the decedent resided at time of death.
2. Check the Will to be sure that it is the original Will, not a conformed copy. Only an original Will may be entered into probate by the Surrogate.
3. Determine who the named executor is in the Will. If he/she has predeceased the testator obtain a certified copy of the death certificate.
4. Determine who has the right to make application for Administrator C.T.A. by the residuary clause.
5. Check to see if the Will is “self-proved” (N.J.S.A.3B:3-2). If not, a witness will need to be located to execute a Proof of Witness.
6. List all next-of-kin by names, addresses and if a minor child the age. If there are any deceased next-of-kin then their issue must be named.
7. List all the assets that are solely in the decedent’s name in order to determine the number of short certificates that need to be requested.
8. Determine the value of these assets for the purpose of securing a surety bond.
The Administration C.T.A. cannot occur until the eleventh day from the date of death. The procedure may be initiated in the Surrogate’s Court before the eleventh day but issuance of the short certificates and Letters of Administration C.T.A. will not occur until the eleventh day. This eleven day period allows for the filing of a caveat by the proper degree of kinship.
The Administration C.T.A. procedure is initiated with presenting the original Will together with a certified copy of the death certificate of the decedent and the death certificate of the named executor if having predeceased the decedent. If the purported Will is adjudicated to be valid than an Application for Administration C.T.A. which cites the reason why such an administration is sought and gives the value of the assets comprising the estate, an Authorization To Accept Service of Process, an Administrator C.T.A. Qualification and a Child Support Verification are prepared by the Surrogate for execution by the proposed Administrator C.T.A. The Administrator C.T.A. must sign a surety bond as principal and his/her signature must be witnessed. He/she will take the bond form to an insurance broker, purchase the surety bond and return it to the Surrogate’s Court. The bond amount is determined by the value of the assets in the decedent’s name alone at the time of passing.
After the Administrator C.T.A. has paid funeral expenses, taxes, creditors and any other estate related expenses he/she will perform Child Support Judgment Searches on each beneficiary to ensure no child support is due by any of the beneficiaries. The Administrator C.T.A. will then prepare Refunding Bonds and Releases to be executed by each beneficiary before a Notary Public. The completed Refunding Bonds and Releases must be filed with the Surrogate. This Refunding Bond and Release ensures that if a creditor were to make a claim against an estate at a later date, all beneficiaries would place monies back into the estate for payment of the claim. Remember, that an estate is only liable for debts up to the value of the assets of the estate. These bonds also ensure that each beneficiary who inherits under the Will has received proper distribution and the beneficiary is satisfied with the performance of the Administrator C.T.A. The Surrogate will issue to the Administrator C.T.A. a Certificate of Release which the Administrator C.T.A. will present to the bonding agent to be released from the Surety Bond. The Administrator C.T.A. may then distribute the decedent’s estate pursuant to the Will to each beneficiary.
An Application for Substitutionary Administration C.T.A. is filed when (1) the Will has been admitted to probate and the appointed fiduciary thereafter ceases to serve and an alternate executor is not properly named or is not named at all or (2) the named Administrator C.T.A. dies before completing his/her duties.
The Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A. must make application which will have additional language setting forth the facts of the appointment of the original Executor or Administrator C.T.A. and the reason for discontinuance of service. He/she will sign an Authorization To Accept Service of Process (Power of Attorney), Substitutionary Administration C.T.A. Qualification and a Child Support Verification. The death certificate of the Administrator C.T.A. or Executor must be presented and a Surety Bond will be required of the Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A.
The Surrogate will issue Letters of Substitutionary Administration C.T.A. (certification of the appointment with a copy of the Will annexed) and Substitutionary Administration C.T.A. Short Certificates. After funeral expenses, taxes, creditors and any other related estate expenses have been paid the Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A. will prepare Refunding Bonds and Releases to be signed by each beneficiary before a Notary Public. These bonds must be filed with the Surrogate who will issue a Certificate of Release to the Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A. to present to the bonding agent to cancel the Surety Bond. Distribution then may be made to each beneficiary under the Will by the Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A. after having performed a Child Support Judgment Search on each to ensure that no child support is due.