Asked in Probate for New Jersey

Q: In NJ how does mom/executor access streamlined or no probate for deceased dad's non-joint bank acct. with $9,000 in it?

Trying to help mom through these last few steps. The bank has made her husband's bank non-joint account an Estate of [his name] account. We have read that, if the decedent did not have valuable property over $20,000, surviving family members can take advantage of New Jersey’s simplified probate procedures. The streamlined probate is quicker and cheaper than regular probate when it is available to be used.

Or would it be available without probate? As we also read the following: If the value of all of the decedent’s is under $20,000, and the surviving spouse or domestic partner is entitled to it without going through probate (see NJ Rev Stat § 3B:10-3). Not sure how to go about this. Can you give us some direction to take to complete this. Mom is the executor.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Barbara Ungar Esq.
Barbara Ungar Esq.
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Edison, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Your mom would need to file the correct forms with the probate court in the county where she resides. If her husband had a will and the will named her the executor of the will, she would need to fill out the probate forms with the original will and submit it to the probate court where she resides. If he died without a will, the next of kin can file for administration of the estate.

There is a process to obtain administration of the estate. If granted by the probate court, then the executor or administrator of the estate would be able to the disbursement of funds in the account.

The bank cannot change the account unless documentation of her husband's death and a death certificate is provided. It also depends on the process relating to the opening of the account and the internal process of the bank. I would recommend to consult an attorney and provide all the documents to an attorney to review them.

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