Executor Checklist: 24 Documents & To-Dos for Estate Settlement in NJ

Checklist for Executors: Documents and To-Dos for Estate Settlement in New Jersey

Administering an estate in New Jersey encompasses diverse responsibilities and documentation. Although this checklist offers a broad outline, seeking guidance from legal and financial experts is vital to guarantee adherence to pertinent laws and regulations.

The following is a checklist designed for executors in New Jersey.

11 Documents: Executor Checklist

Death Certificate

Obtain multiple certified copies of the death certificate. Usually, 7-10 copies are enough, but having a few more is always better than going back and getting more.


Locate the original will. File the will with the Surrogate’s Court in the deceased’s county. In New Jersey, the surrogate will admit the will to probate, which is required by law.

Letters Testamentary

Request letters testamentary from the Surrogate’s Court to officially act as the executor. This will allow the executor to enforce the terms of the will.

Life Insurance Policies

Gather and review all life insurance policies. Notify the insurance companies of the death. You will most likely have to provide one of the copies of the death certificate as well.

Bank Statements

Collect recent bank statements.

Real Estate Documents

Deeds and mortgage documents for all owned properties.

Vehicle Titles

Locate and transfer vehicle titles. You will need an order from the probate court, a certificate of the vehicle’s title, and a copy of the death certificate.

Financial Account Information

List all financial accounts (bank, investment and retirement).

Tax Returns

Gather the deceased’s recent tax returns. If they had an accountant, it would make your work easier by going to that one person.

 Social Security Information

Notify the Social Security Administration of the death. You will most likely have to provide a copy of the death certificate.

Business Documents

If the deceased owned a business, gather relevant documents.

14 To-Dos: Executor Checklist

Secure Assets

Safeguard valuable assets and possessions.

Probate Process

File the will and initiate the probate process with the Surrogate’s Court.

Notify Creditors

Publish a notice to creditors in the local newspaper. Notify creditors individually.

Inventory Assets

Prepare a comprehensive inventory of assets.

Valuation of Assets

Obtain appraisals for valuable assets, if required.

Pay Debts and Taxes

Settle outstanding debts and taxes from the estate.

Distribute Assets

Follow the terms of the will to distribute assets to beneficiaries.

Finalize Estate Accounts

Close bank accounts and investment accounts.

Final Tax Returns

File the final income tax return for the deceased.

Estate Tax Filings

Determine if estate taxes are applicable and file accordingly.

Surrogate’s Court Approval

Obtain court approval for the final distribution of assets.

Close the Estate

File a final accounting with the Surrogate’s Court. Obtain a discharge from the court to officially close the estate.

Accounting and Record-Keeping

Maintain detailed records of all communications related to estate settlement.

Professional Assistance

Consult with an estate professional such as the NJ Executor and, if necessary, financial and tax professionals throughout the process. Remember, estate settlement processes can vary, and this checklist is a general guide.

To seek professional advice to ensure compliance with New Jersey laws and regulations, contact NJ Executor here.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest