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Probating a Gloucester Estate with Few Assets

Posted on Thu Jun 18, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Probating a Gloucester Estate with Few Assets

Most Recently Updated July 15, 2018.

“My entire life, I have lived with my parents in Gloucester County, New Jersey. My father died two years ago, and my mother passed away last week. I was an only child; everything in my mother’s Will was left to me, and I am executor. Do I need to probate her will or open an estate? Her only assets were our family home valued at $600,000 and her car.”

Probating a Gloucester Estate with Few Assets

Probating a Gloucester Estate with Few Assets

The short answer is no; you can not transfer the deed without going through probate. There are only a few cases in New Jersey where there is no need to probate a will. The two most common situations are:

  • when a person dies with no individually held assets or
  • an individual dies with no assets whatsoever.

However, one could also imagine a situation where the only assets of the deceased are non-probate assets with individual beneficiary designations. However, in your case, because your mother had a house and car in her name, her will should be probated.

Short Certificates

Probate is initiated in the Surrogate’s Court, but short certificates will not be issued until 11 days after the date of death. Short certificates give the Executor legal authority to sell or transfer assets of the deceased. This period allows for an heir at law or beneficiary to file a caveat.

Probate Process for Probating a Gloucester Estate with Few Assets

After that, the probate process is initiated by presenting the Surrogate with an original will.  You, as Executor, must also provide a certified copy of the death certificate and list of heirs at law. If the will is valid, the Surrogate prepares the required documents to move the process forward and allow the Executor to begin acting. The probate process ensures that creditors or potential heirs can stake their claim. Additionally, it gives the Executor finality in their disposition of estate assets and tax return filings.

At Klenk Law, we have experienced probate attorneys who can help executors navigate the complex area of administration and law surrounding probate. Our experience can help save hours of confusion and protect executors from personal liability.

More Probate Questions?

Probating an Estate with few assets is only part of the overall probate process. If you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Probating a Gloucester Estate with Few Assets

Hopefully, you found this a helpful article. I included links to even more detailed information on my website for further research.  If you have other questions, please get in touch with me. 

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately, our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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Avoiding Probate, Gloucester County, New Jersey, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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