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Who Serves as Personal Representative for Probate in New Jersey?

The probate process allows for the legal distribution of assets and payment of debts of an estate after an individual has died.  Following a death, the  person who is named as executor in the will  should take the original will and a copy of the death certificate to the Surrogate Court where the court determines the validity of the will.  Probate may not be completed until after ten days has passed since the date of death.

Surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner

If a person dies without a will (i.e. intestate) or if the person or persons named in the will as executors are not available or willing to serve as such,  the  surviving spouse or domestic partner in New Jersey has the first right of acting as personal representative of the estate of the decedent. If there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner, an heir may serve as personal representative as long as other similarly situated heirs do not object. If no one comes forward to act as Personal Representative, or if heirs cannot agree on who should serve as Personal Representative, the court may determine who shall serve based on the intentions of the decedent as outlined in the will or based on evidence presented in court.

Getting Legal Help

Probate can be a simple process or it can be complicated and time-consuming. An experienced Estate Administration Attorney can help you get through the process.  Experienced New Jersey Estate Administration Attorney Elga Goodman has helped many families through the Probate Process in New Jersey and she can help you  protect your loved ones and your assets in the process. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.


Posted in: Estate Planning