Sicklerville, NJ asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey

Q: My husband passed away suddenly at 41 so we didn’t have a will, how can I,his wife,prove I’m the executive of estate?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jersey City, NJ

A: I am sorry for your loss. When someone dies without a will it is called dying intestate, which basically is a fancy way of saying without a will. In NJ you follow the intestate procedure for your county. Here is Hudson counties website: As a spouse you are first in line to be the personal representative of the estate.

Questions 4 on the above link is:

What do I bring if the decedent dies without a will?

You must still go through the probate process. You will be required to bring:

Original Death certificate With Raised Seal

Renunciations, if applicable, from parties not willing to serve as administrator. Please call 201-795-6378 for more information.

A list of the decedent’s assets and an approximate value of each.(i.e The Make, Model and Vin number for any car in the decedent’s name alone, Bank Account information such as Bank name, Account number and most recent statement.)

If you have any questions, most probable lawyers will talk to you for free for a consultation.

Noel Rivers
Noel Rivers
  • Hackensack, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: I am very sorry to hear that your husband passed away. Typically, if your spouse dies without a will, you would take his death certificate to the court and apply to be appointed as the administrator for his estate. The Surrogate's Court would issue you Letters of Administration. These Letters of Administration would grant you the power to handle his final affairs.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most Surrogate's Courts are closed to the public. You can look up the number for the Surrogate's Court in your county and call them to see what procedure they are following at this time.

You may also consult with a probate attorney if you need further guidance on handling your husband's estate. My firm, as well as many other firms, are working remotely and would be able to assist you.

Stay safe.

Noel Rivers, Esq.

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