• Death On or Before February 26, 2005
    If the decedent dies without leaving a Will and is a resident of New Jersey, state law determines who has the right to administer the estate and provides the manner for distribution of the assets.

    It is necessary at the outset to ascertain certain information in order to do an administration of the estate.  (See Information Sheet For Administration)
    1. Check the death certificate to determine which county Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction. The Administration must be done in the County where the decedent resided at time of death.
    2. List all next of kin of proper decree of kinship with names, addresses and if minors the ages. If there are any deceased next-of-kin then their issue must be named.
    3. List all the assets in the decedent’s name alone in order to determine the number of short certificates that will be required.
    4. Determine the value of the assets in the decedent’s name alone for the purpose of securing a surety bond if one is required.
    5. Determine who has first right to make application for administration based on degree of kinship. 

    Application for administration may not be granted until the fifth day after the decedent died.

    If the decedent was married, the person having the first right to apply for Letters of Administration is the surviving spouse. If the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $20,000 but is less than $ 50,000, no surety bond need be posted.  If there is only a surviving spouse with no children of both or the decedent, and no parents of the decedent, no bond is required regardless of the value of the estate. However, if the decedent had children with other than the surviving spouse a surety bond is required if the estate is $ 20,000 or more.  If the decedent had no children but a surviving spouse and parents and the estate exceeds $ 50,000 a bond will be required. 

    If the surviving spouse renounces, then he/she has the right to ask for the appointment of someone else and that person will be required to post surety bond regardless of the value of the estate.

    If there is no surviving spouse and the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $10,000, the next of kin in order of degree of kinship may apply for Letters of Administration. A person making such an application must present renunciations from all competent adults whose right to letters is prior or equal to his/hers or, in lieu thereof, must produce sufficient notice of such application has been given to all such persons.  The notice may not be less than 10 days for residents of New Jersey, and 60 days for persons resident outside of New Jersey.

    The Administrator will sign the Application for Administration which contains information on the administrator and the heirs at law and opens up the procedure in the Surrogate’s Court. He/she will sign an Authorization to Accept Service of Process (Power of Attorney) in favor of the Surrogate empowering the Surrogate to accept service of process in any cause in which the fiduciary, in his or her capacity as, is party. If someone sues the estate and personal service cannot be affected, service of process may be made upon the Surrogate.  The Surrogate must mail a copy of the process to the fiduciary at the address on the Authorization. The Administrator must sign an Administrator Qualification that he/she will administer the estate according to law.  He/she will accept the position of Administrator, bring all the assets into the estate, pay out all liabilities from the assets and present an accounting of the estate when required by law. A Child Support Verification must be signed by the Administrator acknowledging that he/she has received a copy of N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.23b advising the administrator of his/her obligation to determine if a child support arrangement existed prior to making distributions in excess of $ 2,000 and to satisfy same prior to disbursement of funds to any beneficiary who may owe child support.

    The Administrator will obtain renunciations from those of equal degree of kinship not wishing to serve and post a surety bond, if required.  The posting of a surety bond is security for the faithful performance of the administrator’s duties.  The surety bond must be signed by the plaintiff (administrator) as principal and his/her signature must be witnessed.  An approved bonding company may act as surety to the plaintiff’s bond.

    The Surrogate will then issue Letters of Administration which is the authorization for the administrator to act on behalf of the estate and Administration Short Certificates which the administrator uses as proof of his/her authority to transfer or sell assets of the decedent.

    At the closure of the estate the Administrator will prepare Refunding Bonds and Releases (see Refunding Bond and Release form) to be executed by each beneficiary who has inherited from the estate.  Each beneficiary must complete a Refunding Bond and sign before a Notary Public.  The completed Refunding Bonds and Releases are filed with the Surrogate by the Administrator.  The 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 money 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 statue receives proper distribution and the beneficiary is satisfied with the performance of the Administrator.  The Surrogate will issue to the Administrator a Certificate of Release which the Administrator presents to the bonding agent to be released from the Surety Bond.  The Administrator may then distribute the decedent’s estate pursuant to New Jersey Statue.

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  • Death On or After February 27, 2005
    If the decedent dies without leaving a Will and is a resident of New Jersey, state law determines who has the right to administer the estate and provides the manner for distribution of the assets. 

    It is necessary at the outset to ascertain certain information in order to do an administration of the estate.  (See Information Sheet For Administration)
    1. Check the death certificate to determine which county Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction. The Administration must be done in the County where the decedent resided at time of death.
    2. List all next of kin of proper decree of kinship with names, addresses and if minors the ages. If there are any deceased next-of-kin then their issue must be named.
    3. List all the assets in the decedent’s name alone in order to determine the number of short certificates that will be required.
    4. Determine the value of the assets in the decedent name alone for the purpose of securing a surety bond if one is required.
    5. Determine who has first right to make application for administration based on degree of kinship.

    Application for administration may not be granted until the fifth day after the decedent died.

    If the decedent was married, the person having the first right to apply for Letters of Administration is the surviving spouse.  If the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $ 20,000 an administration needs to be done.  If the surviving spouse renounces, then he/she has the right to ask for the appointment of someone else and that person will be required to post surety bond regardless of the value of the estate.

    If there is no surviving spouse and the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $10,000, the next of kin in order of degree of kinship may apply for Letters of Administration. A person making such an application must present renunciations from all competent adults whose right to letters is prior or equal to his/hers or, in lieu thereof, must produce sufficient notice of such application has been given to all such persons.  The notice may not be less than 10 days for residents of New Jersey, and 60 days for persons resident outside of New Jersey.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse but no children of the decedent and no parents, the surviving spouse receives 100% of the estate and no bond is required.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse and children of the decedent’s all of whom are also children of the spouse and no other descendants the spouse will receive 100% of the estate and no bond will be required. The children receive nothing.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse and no children of the decedent but surviving parent the spouse will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus three-fourth of the balance of the estate; parents receive all other assets.  A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse and children of the decedent whom are not children of the surviving spouse, the spouse will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus one-half the balance; children will receive all other assets.  A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse and children of the decedent and children who are not children of the decedent the spouse will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus one-half the balance; children receive all other assets. A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has no spouse, no children of decedent, no parents, no descendants of parents, no grandparents or descendants of grandchildren but children of the spouse (stepchildren) the stepchildren will receive 100% of the estate and a bond will be required.

    If you die leaving no spouse, no children of the decedent, no parents, no descendants of parents, no grandparents or descendants of grandparents and no children of a spouse the estate passes to the State of New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administrator.

    The Administrator will sign the Application for Administration which contains information on the administrator and the heirs at law and opens up the procedure in the Surrogate’s Court. He/she will sign an Authorization to Accept Service of Process (Power of Attorney) in favor of the Surrogate empowering the Surrogate to accept service of process in any cause in which the fiduciary, in his or her capacity as, is party. If someone sues the estate and personal service cannot be affected, service of process may be made upon the Surrogate.  The Surrogate must mail a copy of the process to the fiduciary at the address on the Authorization. The Administrator must sign an Administrator Qualification that he/she will administer the estate according to law.  He/she will accept the position of Administrator, bring all the assets into the estate, pay out all liabilities from the assets and present an accounting of the estate when required by law. A Child Support Verification must be signed by the Administrator acknowledging that he/she has received a copy of N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.23b advising the administrator of his/her obligation to determine if a child support arrangement existed prior to making distributions in excess of $ 2,000 and to satisfy same prior to disbursement of funds to any beneficiary who may owe child support.

    The Administrator will obtain renunciations from those of equal degree of kinship not wishing to serve and post a surety bond, if required.  The posting of a surety bond is security for the faithful performance of the administrator’s duties.  The surety bond must be signed by the plaintiff (administrator) as principal and his/her signature must be witnessed.  An approved bonding company may act as surety to the plaintiff’s bond.

    The Surrogate will then issue Letters of Administration which is the authorization for the administrator to act on behalf of the estate and Administration Short Certificates which the administrator uses as proof of his/her authority to transfer or sell assets of the decedent.

    At the closure of the estate the Administrator will prepare Refunding Bonds and Releases (see Refunding Bond Release form) to be executed by each beneficiary who has inherited from the estate.  Each beneficiary must complete a Refunding Bond and sign before a Notary Public.  The completed Refunding Bonds and Releases are filed with the Surrogate by the Administrator.  The 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 money 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 statue receives proper distribution and the beneficiary is satisfied with the performance of the Administrator.  The Surrogate will issue to the Administrator a Certificate of Release which the Administrator presents to the bonding agent to be released from the Surety Bond.  The Administrator may then distribute the decedent’s estate pursuant to New Jersey Statue.

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  • Death On or After January 12, 2006 (Includes Registered Domestic Partner)
    If the decedent dies without leaving a Will and is a resident of New Jersey, state law determines who has the right to administer the estate and provides the manner for distribution of the assets.

    It is necessary at the outset to ascertain certain information in order to do an administration of the estate. (See Information Sheet For Administration)
    1. Check the death certificate to determine which county Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction. The Administration must be done in the County where the decedent resided at time of death.
    2. List all next of kin of proper decree of kinship with names, addresses and if minors the ages. If there are any deceased next-of-kin then their issue must be named.
    3. List all the assets in the decedent’s name alone in order to determine the number of short certificates that will be required.
    4. Determine the value of the assets in the decedent’s name alone for the purpose of securing a surety bond if one is required.
    5. Determine who has first right to make application for administration.

    Application for administration may not be granted until the fifth day after the decedent died.

    If the decedent was married or was a registered domestic partner, the person having the first right to apply for Letters of Administration is the surviving spouse or domestic partner.  If the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $ 20,000 an administration needs to be done.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse or domestic partner but no children of the decedent and no parents, the surviving spouse or domestic partner receives 100% of the estate and no bond is required.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse or domestic partner and children of the decedent all of whom are also children of the spouse or domestic partner and no other descendants the spouse or domestic partner will receive 100% of the estate and no bond will be required. The children receive nothing.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse or domestic partner and no children of the decedent but surviving parents the spouse or domestic partner will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus three-fourth of the balance of the estate; parents receive all other assets.  A bond will be required if the estate is over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse or domestic partner and children of the decedent whom are not children of the surviving spouse or domestic partner, the spouse or domestic partner will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus one-half the balance; children receive all other assets.  A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse or domestic partner and children of the decedent and children who are not children of the decedent the spouse or domestic partner will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,00 plus one-half the balance; children receive all other assets.  A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has no spouse or domestic partner, no children of decedent, no parents, no descendents of parents, no grandparents or descendents of grandparents but children of the spouse or domestic partner (stepchildren) the stepchildren will receive 100% of the state and a bond will be required.

    If you die leaving no spouse or domestic partner, no children of the decedent, no parents, no descendents of parents, no grandparents or descendents of grandparents and no children of a spouse or domestic partner the estate passes to the State of New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administrator.

    If the surviving spouse or domestic partner renounces, then he/she has the right to ask for the appointment of someone else and that person will be required to post bond regardless of the value of the estate.

    If there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner and the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $ 10,000, the next-of-kin in order of degree may apply for Letters of Administration.  A person making such an application must present renunciations from all competent adults whose right to letters is prior or equal to his/hers or, in lieu thereof, must produce sufficient notice of such application has been given to all such persons.  The notice may not be less than 10 days for residents of New Jersey, and 60 days for persons resident outside of New Jersey.

    The Administrator will sign the Application for Administration which contains information on the administrator and the heirs at law and opens up the procedure in the Surrogate’s Court. He/she will sign an Authorization to Accept Service of Process (Power of Attorney) in favor of the Surrogate empowering the Surrogate to accept service of process in any cause in which the fiduciary, in his or her
    capacity as, is party. If someone sues the estate and personal service cannot be affected, service of process may be made upon the Surrogate.  The Surrogate must mail a copy of the process to the fiduciary at the address on the Authorization. The Administrator must sign an Administrator Qualification that he/she will administer the estate according to law.  He/she will accept the position of Administrator, bring all the assets into the estate, pay out all liabilities from the assets and present an accounting of the estate when required by law. A Child Support Verification must be signed by the Administrator acknowledging that he/she has received a copy of N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.23b advising the administrator of his/her obligation to determine if a child support arrangement existed prior to making distributions in excess of $ 2,000 and to satisfy same prior to disbursement of funds to any beneficiary who may owe child support.

    The Administrator will obtain renunciations from those of equal degree of kinship not wishing to serve and post a surety bond, if required.  The posting of a surety bond is security for the faithful performance of the administrator’s duties.  The surety bond must be signed by the plaintiff (administrator) as principal and his/her signature must be witnessed.  An approved bonding company may act as surety to the plaintiff’s bond.

    The Surrogate will then issue Letters of Administration which is the authorization for the administrator to act on behalf of the estate and Administration Short Certificates which the administrator uses as proof of his/her authority to transfer or sell assets of the decedent.

    At the closure the Administrator will then prepare Refunding Bonds and Releases (see Refunding Bond and Release form) to be executed by each beneficiary who has inherited from the estate.  Each beneficiary must complete a Refunding Bond and sign before a Notary Public.  The completed Refunding Bonds and Releases are filed with the Surrogate by the Administrator.  The 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 money 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 statue receives proper distribution and the beneficiary is satisfied with the performance of the Administrator.  The Surrogate will issue to the Administrator a Certificate of Release which the Administrator presents to the bonding agent to be released from the Surety Bond.  The Administrator may then distribute the decedent’s estate pursuant to New Jersey Statue.

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  • Death On or After February 19, 2007 (Includes Civil Union Partner)
    If the decedent dies without leaving a Will and is a resident of New Jersey, state law determines who has the right to administer the estate and provides the manner for distribution of the assets.

    It is necessary at the outset to ascertain certain information in order to do an administration of the estate. (See Information Sheet For Administration)
    1. Check the death certificate to determine which county Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction. The Administration must be done in the County where the decedent resided at time of death.
    2. List all next of kin of proper decree of kinship with names, addresses and if minors the ages. If there are any deceased next-of-kin then their issue must be named.
    3. List all the assets in the decedent’s name alone in order to determine the number of short certificates that will be required.
    4. Determine the value of the assets in the decedent’s name alone for the purpose of securing a surety bond if one is required.
    5. Determine who has first right to make application for administration.

    Application for administration may not be granted until the fifth day after the decedent died.

    If the decedent was married or was a registered domestic partner, or a civil union partner the person having the first right to apply for Letters of Administration is the surviving spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner. If the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $ 20,000 an administration needs to be done.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner but no children of the decedent and no parents, the surviving spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner receives 100% of the estate and no bond is required.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner and children of the decedent’s all of whom are also children of the spouse and no other descendants the spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner will receive 100% of the estate and no bond will be required. The children receive nothing.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner and no children of the decedent but surviving parents the spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus three-fourth of the balance of the estate; parents receive all other assets. A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner and children of the decedent whom are not children of the surviving spouse, the spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus one-half the balance; children will receive all other assets. A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has a surviving spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner and children of the decedent and children who are not children of the decedent the spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner will receive the first 25% of the estate but not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 200,000 plus one-half the balance; children receive all other assets. A bond will be required for an estate over $ 50,000.

    If the decedent has no spouse, no domestic partner, no civil union partner, no children of decedent, no parents, no descendants of parents, no grandparents or descendants of grandchildren but children of the spouse (stepchildren) the stepchildren will receive 100% of the estate and a bond will be required.

    If you die leaving no spouse, no domestic partner, no civil union partner, no children of the decedent, no parents, no descendants of parents, no grandparents or descendants of grandparents and no children of a spouse the estate passes to the State of New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administrator.

    If the surviving spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner renounces, then he/she has the right to ask for the appointment of someone else and that person will be required to post bond regardless of the value of the estate.

    If there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner or civil union partner and the property owned by the decedent alone exceeds $ 10,000, the next-of-kin in order of degree may apply for Letters of Administration. A person making such an application must present renunciations from all competent adults whose right to letters is prior or equal to his/hers or, in lieu thereof, must produce sufficient notice of such application has been given to all such persons. The notice may not be less than 10 days for residents of New Jersey, and 60 days for persons resident outside of New Jersey.

    The Administrator will sign the Application for Administration which contains information on the administrator and the heirs at law and opens up the procedure in the Surrogate’s Court. He/she will sign an Authorization to Accept Service of Process (Power of Attorney) in favor of the Surrogate empowering the Surrogate to accept service of process in any cause in which the fiduciary, in his or her
    capacity as, is party. If someone sues the estate and personal service cannot be affected, service of process may be made upon the Surrogate. The Surrogate must mail a copy of the process to the fiduciary at the address on the Authorization. The Administrator must sign an Administrator Qualification that he/she will administer the estate according to law. He/she will accept the position of Administrator, bring all the assets into the estate, pay out all liabilities from the assets and present an accounting of the estate when required by law. A Child Support Verification must be signed by the Administrator acknowledging that he/she has received a copy of N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.23b advising the administrator of his/her obligation to determine if a child support arrangement existed prior to making distributions in excess of $ 2,000 and to satisfy same prior to disbursement of funds to any beneficiary who may owe child support.

    The Administrator will obtain renunciations from those of equal degree of kinship not wishing to serve and post a surety bond, if required. The posting of a surety bond is security for the faithful performance of the administrator’s duties. The surety bond must be signed by the plaintiff (administrator) as principal and his/her signature must be witnessed. An approved bonding company may act as surety to the plaintiff’s bond.

    The Surrogate will then issue Letters of Administration which is the authorization for the administrator to act on behalf of the estate and Administration Short Certificates which the administrator uses as proof of his/her authority to transfer or sell assets of the decedent.

    At the closure the Administrator will then prepare Refunding Bonds and Releases (see Refunding Bond and Release form) be executed by each beneficiary who has inherited from the estate. Each beneficiary must complete a Refunding Bond and sign before a Notary Public. The completed Refunding Bonds and Releases are filed with the Surrogate by the Administrator. The 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 money 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 statue receives proper distribution and the beneficiary is satisfied with the performance of the Administrator. The Surrogate will issue to the Administrator a Certificate of Release which the Administrator presents to the bonding agent to be released from the Surety Bond. The Administrator may then distribute the decedent’s estate pursuant to New Jersey Statue.

    If no application for Letters of Administration is made within 40 days after the decedent’s death by surviving spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner or next-of-kin, a creditor may apply for letters. An application is generally accompanied by affidavits of inquiry, and recites the interests of the party making application. Notice must be given to all parties in interest or renunciations must be submitted from them. As a rule the creditor is not appointed the Administrator because his/her interests would be adverse to those of the next-of-kin. Instead the Surrogate appoints a disinterested party.

    In the case where there is no known next-of-kin, the Surrogate will require a letter from the Attorney General’s office to proceed with the appointment of a disinterested party.

    Substitutionary Administration occurs when a prior Administrator of an intestate has died, resigned, been discharged or failed to serve for some reason.

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