Administration of an Estate

Who Can Apply for Administration?

The laws in the State of New Jersey define who has the first right to apply for Administration of an
estate.

General administration is used when a resident of New Jersey dies intestate (without a will). It is the duty
of the heir or the person desiring original letters of administration to make application to the Surrogate of
the county in which the intestate resided at death.

For intestate estates, heirs according to the statute of descent and distribution have priority

  1. Spouse, civil union partner or domestic partner
  2. Adult children of the decedent
  3. Guardian of minor issue first entitled, if no surviving spouse or adult children
  4. Decedent’s parents
  5. Brothers and sisters
  6. Grandparents
  7. Aunts and uncles
  8. Stepchildren
  9. Strangers, creditors after 40 days or others

Procedure for Appointment of Administrator

The applicant should appear in the Surrogate’s office with:

  • Proof of death
  • A detailed list of assets in deceased’s name
  • An estimated of amount owing for debts and taxes
  • Names & addresses of next of kin (heirs at law)

You will be interviewed by a probate clerk to obtain the necessary information on the estate and who is entitled to appointment, after which the clerk shall prepare the following for signature.

  • Application for administration
  • Qualification/Authorization
  • Renunciations or proof of notice
  • Affidavit of estate assets
  • Bond (A surety bond may be required on the estate; this is like an insurance policy. The bond will be set by the Surrogate when the assets of the estate are determined.)
  • Verification of child support law

When filling out the information sheet, be sure to list heirs according to relationship. If the deceased was married with children of the same union and no children from previous relationships you only need to list spouse and children. If there were no children, parents of decedent get listed. If there were children of
the decedent from another relationship they must be listed. We need to know the addresses of all the next of kin and if any of them are under the age of 18