What happens if I do not have a Will?
The Surrogate Court will issue Letters of Administration. However, depending upon the size of the estate, and the relationship to the decedent, an Affidavit of Spouse may be granted for estates valued at less than $50,000 and an Affidavit of Next of Kin (with the consent of the other heirs) for estates valued at less than $20,000. The Affidavits cost less then a general administration. If it is a larger estate, then the Surrogate can issue Letters of Administration by appointing a person to handle the estate. In those cases, a bond may be required to guarantee the proper handling of the administration.

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1. How do I get started with an estate matter?
2. Do all wills have to be probated?
3. Do my survivors have to pay inheritance tax?
4. Must I engage an attorney to probate a Will?
5. Does the State of New Jersey take my assets if I die without a will?
6. What do I need to bring to the Surrogate Court to handle an estate?
7. Is it expensive to probate a Will?
8. What happens if I do not have a Will?
9. Where should I keep my original Will?
10. Can I change my Will by writing on it?
11. How do I adopt my new spouse's childen?
12. My grandmother wrote her last wishes on an envelope before she died. Is this considered a Will?
13. What does escheat mean?
14. Is there a way to find out if the State of New Jersey has money that I may be entitled to?
15. I have a special needs child. How do I become their guardian when they turn 18 years old?