Schedule an appointment with us before/when you submit your documents with us by calling 908-788-1156.
The probate process occurs when someone passes away with a will, wherein they name an executor of their choosing. The Surrogate's Court requires the original signed will and death certificate.
The Administration process occurs when someone passes away without a will. Closest next of kin will have equal rights to become the Administrator of the Estate. The Surrogate's Court requires an original death certificate.
- Administration Information Sheet (Submit Online)
- Administration Information Sheet (Printable PDF)
- Renunciation of Administration (PDF)
- Brochure: Duties of an Administrator (PDF)
Small Estate Affidavits
A small estate affidavit by surviving spouse may be used when there is no will and the value of the estate is less than $50,000. A small estate affidavit by next of kin may be used when there is no will and the value of the estate is less than $20,000. To utilize this process in lieu of a full administration, the applicant must have detailed information regarding estate assets, such as account numbers and vehicle identification numbers. If that information is unknown or unavailable, the full administration process should be used.
Administration C.T.A. (Administration with the will annexed)
This process occurs when there is a will, but the executor(s) listed in the will is/are able or unwilling to apply. Residual beneficiaries named in the will then have the right to be named Administrator C.T.A.
Administration Ad Prosequendum
This process occurs when the decedent dies as the result of an alleged wrongful act and a lawsuit is considered.
Refunding Bond & Release
Used when a distribution is made to a beneficiary.
Pursuant to NJ.S.A. 3B:23-24, an Executor or Administrator shall collect Refunding Bonds and Releases from each beneficiary upon distribution of assets. It is necessary to file the completed Refunding Bond and Release from each beneficiary of the estate with the Surrogate's Court. File each refunding bond and release with a filing fee made payable to Hunterdon County Surrogate. (Fee: $10 when using our form provided here; otherwise, $10 for the first two pages and $5 for each additional page thereafter).
The Refunding Bond and Release has a dual purpose:
- Refunding: By signing a refunding bond the beneficiary is agreeing in the event the assets distributed to them are needed at a later time to pay a debt of the estate, the beneficiary will return part or all of the assets needed to pay those debts.
- Releasing: The beneficiary is releasing the Executor/Administrator from any liability pertaining to the administration of the estate. It discharges the Executor/Administrator from any future duties regarding the estate.
- The Refunding Bond and Release must be signed by the beneficiary before a Notary Public or attorney. If the beneficiary is a minor or incapacitated person, the Refunding Bond and Release must be signed by the guardian of the property. If the beneficiary is a trust, the refunding Bond and Release must be signed by the trustee.
To Cancel a Surety Bond:
In an Administration that required a Surety Bond, said Bond will not be cancelled by the insurance agent unless the Certificate of Release is presented to the agent. To obtain this certificate, all Refunding Bonds must be filed with the Surrogate's Court and the Administrator must submit a written request and $5 fee for a Certificate of Release from the Surrogate.
- Notice of Probate Sample (PDF) - A simple letter an executor is required to send to beneficiaries and/or next of kin of an estate.
- Disclaimer (PDF) - Used when a beneficiary does not wish to benefit from an estate.
- Claim Against Estate (PDF)
- Personal Records Handbook (PDF) - You can print and use this booklet to store asset and account information for your loved ones.