There are 5 basic types of estate proceedings in New Jersey:
- General administration
- Administration CTA
- Limited Administration
- Small Estate Administration
New Jersey Probate
When a decedent dies testate (with a valid will), a New Jersey probate proceeding is used. The is one of the most common types of estate proceedings in New Jersey.
The Surrogate’s Court must admit the will to probate upon a determination that the will is valid. See N.J.S.A. 3B:3-19 – Proof required to probate will. The fiduciary appointed in the testator’s will is appointed as the fiduciary of the estate, unless they are unqualified to serve.
New Jersey General Administration
When a decedent dies intestate (without a valid will), a New Jersey general administration is used. This is another one of the most common types of estate proceedings in New Jersey.
In a general administration, the court will appoint an administrator of the decedent’s estate. Read Who Has Priority To Be Appointed as Administrator of a New Jersey Estate?
The New Jersey Surrogate’s Court will issue letters of administration allowing the administrator to administer the decedent’s estate. See N.J.S.A. 3B:10-1 and 3B:10-2.
New Jersey Administration CTA
Administration cum testament annexo (administration cta) is the type of administration when a decedent dies testate (with a valid will), but either did not nominate an executor in the will OR the nominated executor cannot or will not serve (because they renounced appointment, died, or failed to qualify). See N.J.S.A 3B:10-16.
Different Types of New Jersey Limited Administration
A New Jersey limited administration is the type of administration used to enable an appointed fiduciary to fulfill a limited role. Examples of limited roles include to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the decedent or decedent’s estate (N.J.S.A. 3B:10-11), temporary appointment until a general personal representative is appointed (N.J.S.A. 3B:10-12), or to serve as a limited administrator to serve where the decedent or decedent’s estate was a necessary party to a lawsuit.
New Jersey Small Estate Administration
A New Jersey small estate administration is the type of administration used when the decedent dies intestate and has a small amount of assets.
If the assets of the estate do not exceed $50,000, a surviving spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner can file an affidavit attesting to the value of the assets and can qualify to transfer and distribute the assets. N.J.S.A. 3B:10-3. An heir can utilize the small estate process if the intestate estate assets do not exceed $20,000 and there is no surviving spouse, partner in a civil union, or domestic partner. N.J.S.A. 3B:10-4.