Kiczek and Kapish have the experience and compassion to successfully guide you through the estate process whether your loved one died intestate or with a last will and testament. If the decedent had a valid last will and testament it will be admitted to probate through the Surrogate's Court of the county in which the decedent resided. If the decedent did not have a last will and testament we will help the family determine who should apply to be the administrator of the estate.
Administrator or Executor
If a person dies with a valid last will and testament, the testator will have named an executor to carry out the testator's wishes contained within the last will and testament. When the Will is admitted to probate through the Surrogate's Court, and if there are no objections, the named executor shall be appointed and provided letters testamentary from the Surrogate.
If a person dies intestate (without a valid last will and testament), heirs have priority standing according to N.J.S.A. 3B:10-2. Once it is determined who should apply to be appointed administrator of the estate, application is made through the Surrogate's Court. Upon qualifying, which will likely require a bond, the administrator receives letters of administration from the Surrogate.
Non-Probate and Probate Assets
When an individual dies, certain assets of the decedent may be transferred by contract, such as joint ownership with right of survivorship, payable on death accounts, transfer on death property, and most life insurance and retirement benefits (non-probate). Other assets may be transferred through proceedings in Surrogate's Court in accordance with the decedent's last will and testament or the intestate laws of New Jersey (probate).
Inheritance Tax and Estate Tax
In the State of New Jersey there is no Estate Tax for individuals who die after January 1, 2018. The federal estate tax still applies for estates which exceed the filing threshold for the year of the decedent’s death. New Jersey still imposes an inheritance tax based on the beneficiaries’ relationship to the decedent.