Becoming the administrator of an estate with no will

When someone dies without a will, it can leave family members unsure of what their next step should be. If you want to become the administrator of your loved one’s estate, you have to follow the requirements carefully. We have often assisted people through the probate process in situations such as these.

According to the Somerset County Surrogate’s Court, this is the process for probating an estate when the deceased did not have a will.

Submitting the appropriate information to the court

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • A certified copy of your loved one’s death certificate
  • The names and addresses of all of your loved one’s next of kin
  • A list of all the assets your loved one had in his or her name
  • The value of those assets at the time of your loved one’s death

You may then submit your application to become the administrator of the estate.

Filing the application

In New Jersey, the person who is closest in kinship has the right to file this application. If you are not the nearest degree of kinship, those who are must agree that you may fill the role and renounce their right to it. Alternately, you and other family members may serve as administrators together. The court may require a bond along with the application, which serves as a type of insurance policy to ensure you perform the duties.

Probating the estate

During the probate process, you must pay the estate’s debts and taxes, distribute the assets according to the state’s intestate laws and close the estate. After this, the beneficiaries sign a Refunding Bond, which you can submit to the court to get your bond returned.