An Overview of New Jersey Probate

September 16, 2021

Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies, which may involve paperwork and multiple court appearances. Probate proceedings are generally required when the deceased individual owned assets in his or her name only. This may include bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, and tangible assets that are solely in the deceased individual’s name. Non-probate assets include assets that have a joint owner with a surviving owner, assets that are owned by a trust or with a trust named as the beneficiary, and assets that have designated beneficiaries. In New Jersey, these non-probate assets may be claimed by the beneficiaries without the involvement of the probate court. 

New Jersey Probate Process

Pursuant to New Jersey law, probate may not be filed until ten (10) days after the person’s death. Usually, probate in New Jersey is managed by the Surrogate’s Court, but the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part may handle the case if it is contested. The probate process may involve various issues, including proving in court that a deceased person’s Will is valid, identifying & inventorying the deceased individual’s property, appraising assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property according to the Will. 

Simplified Probate Procedures

Smaller estates may utilize New Jersey’s simplified probate procedures for a faster and less expensive alternative to the regular probate process. There are two requirements an estate must meet to utilize the streamlined process:

  • There is no valid Will, the value of all property does not exceed $20,000, and the surviving spouse or domestic partner is the only beneficiary.
  • There is no valid Will, the value of all property does not exceed $10,000, there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner, there is only one heir, and all other possible heirs give their written consent.

Probate Attorneys at the GC Law Firm

New Jersey probate laws and the probate process can be complicated. We recommend contacting a reputable probate attorney who will help you understand the current laws and guide you through the process. At the Law Offices of George Christopoulos, our probate attorneys will help you navigate the intricacies of the New Jersey probate process. Contact us today at (201) 488-1825 to get started. 

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250 Moonachie Rd, Ste. 200, Moonachie, NJ.

(201) 488-1825

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(212) 878-6699

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