Probate and Estate Administration

Estate administration occurs after a person has passed away and is concerned with the distribution of his or her assets in accordance with the decedent’s will. However, estate administration will be governed by New Jersey’s intestate laws in the event the decedent dies without a will, or a will is contested and found to be void. The lawyers at our firm are very familiar with the state’s court system and laws in regards to estate administration and ensure that their client’s best interest is kept in mind while making probate decisions.

In New Jersey, there are different kinds of estate administration. General administration is used when a person dies without a will. It is the heir’s responsibility to apply for the court to administer the estate. An heir to an estate can include:

  • a spouse or registered domestic partner
  • an adult child of the decedent
  • a guardian of a minor child if there is no surviving spouse or adult children
  • a decedent’s parents
  • siblings of the decedent
  • grandparents of the decedent
  • aunts and uncles of the decedent
  • stepchildren.

When appearing before the Surrogate’s office, the heir should be sure to have proof of death of the decedent, a detailed list of the assets in the decedent’s name, an estimate of the amount owed for debts and taxes, as well as names and addresses of next of kin.

The process of estate administration is also commonly known as probate when the decedent died with a will. Whether the decedent died with or without a will, estate administration must be overseen by the appropriate court. In New Jersey, the Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction over these matters. It is important to have proper legal representation to prevent potential will contests and adequately distribute the decedent’s assets according to his or her wishes and the law.

If you need assistance with the probate of a will, or have questions about the administration of a loved-one’s estate, call 1-833-RINALDO, or complete our contact form.