If you are the executor of a will in New Jersey, it can be helpful to have a checklist to ensure that you meet your responsibilities and fulfill your duties. Some of the items that you may want to include on your executor checklist are:
Checklist for the Executor of a Will
1. File a petition with the court to open the estate and appoint a personal representative
If the deceased person had a will, the will should name a personal representative to manage the estate. If there is no will or the named personal representative is unable or unwilling to serve, the court will appoint a personal representative.
2. Identify and gather the assets of the estate
The personal representative is responsible for identifying and gathering all of the assets of the estate, including real estate, personal property, and financial accounts.
3. Pay any outstanding debts and taxes
The personal representative must pay any outstanding debts and taxes the estate owes, including outstanding mortgage payments, credit card debts, and taxes.
4. Determine if the deceased person had a valid will
If the deceased person had a will, the personal representative must determine if it is valid. If the will is valid, the personal representative must follow the instructions outlined in the will. If the will is invalid or the deceased person did not have a will, the personal representative must distribute the assets according to New Jersey’s laws of intestate succession.
5. Provide a detailed accounting of the assets and debts of the estate
The personal representative must provide a detailed accounting of all the assets and debts of the estate to the court and any interested parties, such as beneficiaries named in the will or potential heirs.
6. Obtain court approval to distribute the assets
After the court has reviewed the accounting and determined that all debts and taxes have been paid, it will issue an order authorizing the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries or heirs.
7. Distribute the estate’s assets
The personal representative is responsible for distributing the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries or heirs per the court’s order.
Serving as executor of a will in New Jersey can be complex and time-consuming. It is crucial to understand your responsibilities and follow a thorough checklist.
Suppose you have questions about our executor of a will checklist, probate and estate administration or finding a probate attorney or estate attorney. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973). If you are the executor of a will, here is a link to find the location of all the surrogate courts in New Jersey.