From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother passed away in Atlantic County, New Jersey. She was divorced, with four children, leaving no will. She only owned a house, but it has a mortgage taken out by her boyfriend. How do we sell the house?
When a person dies as a resident of New Jersey without a will, they die “intestate.” New Jersey has a set of rules that dictate who has the right to petition the Atlantic County Surrogate to be named the Administrator of an intestate estate. In your case, all four children have this right.
If the children cannot agree as to who will serve, then there will be a hearing where the judge will select an Administrator.
This Administrator will then have the power to sell the house. It is likely that the Administrator will find that your mother signed documentation allowing her boyfriend to put the mortgage on the house. The Administrator will also have the right to review all the paperwork to see if there is any claim to recover any money from the boyfriend.
If you have questions about Probate or Estate Litigation in Atlantic County, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.