Duties of an Executor in New Jersey

by | May 12, 2023 | Videos

What are the duties of an Executor in New Jersey?

In Episode #341 of the Mullooly Asset Show, Tom discusses some of the duties of an executor in New Jersey.

Most folks will likely only need to serve as an executor perhaps once or twice in their lifetime.
We’ve helped many people over the years, when they need to serve as an executor.

So what ARE the duties of an executor in New Jersey?  We can tell you it’s not simple, it can be time-consuming.  But does not have to be complicated. If you are organized!

In this week’s video, Tom discusses the duties of what it takes, and what is expected of serving as an executor here in the Garden State.  After viewing this video, be sure to check another recent video on Estate matters and serving as an executor.

Timestamps for “Duties of an Executor in New Jersey”

0:30 – Locate the will!
0:43 – Filing the Will in the Surrogate’s Office
1:33 – WHY do you have to go through Surrogate’s Court?
2:20 – Executor has 60 days to contact heirs & beneficiaries
3:19 – Banks, brokers and advisors will need a Surrogate’s Certificate
4:08 – Have funds available. Expect a freeze at the bank
4:39 – Estate Tax Waivers
5:12 – Death certificates
5:40 – Date of death values, get a tax ID for the estate

Links for “Duties of an Executor in New Jersey
Monmouth County Surrogate’s Office
Ocean County Surrogate
Mercer County Surrogate
Middlesex County Surrogate
Burlington County Surrogate

Transcript for “Duties of an Executor in New Jersey”

So what are the duties of an executor? We’re going to talk about it in this video

Welcome to the Mullooly Asset show.
I’m your host Tom Mullooly, and this is episode 341
Thanks for tuning in.

So you’ve been named an executor. What are the duties involved?

Well the very first thing is, you’ve got to find the will. You have to locate that. If it’s not readily available, contact the law firm that wrote the will. They usually have a copy in their safe. The next thing you’ve got to do is get to the Surrogate’s Office in the county.

That’s where the you will get appointed as an executor, and the will can be probated.

If you’re in Monmouth County, go to the Hall of Records. It’s on East Main Street in Freehold.

If you’re in Ocean County, go down to the Ocean County Courthouse on Washington Street in Toms River.

If you’re in Mercer County, go to 175 South Broad Street in Trenton.

You should also know that, in Monmouth County, one day each month you can see the Surrogate at the Middletown Public Library. They also have one day a month at the Monmouth County Connection on route 66 in Neptune.

People ask us all the time “Why do I need to go to the Surrogate’s Court?” When you’re a surrogate, when you become the executor. You’re legally appointed. You are the fiduciary for the estate. Let’s not forget this is a legal appointment.

And technically in New Jersey, little fun fact, you can’t be appointed an executor until 11 days after the date of death. That’s something that I learned over time.

Also, the technical process is, the executor applies to have the will admitted to probate. Then they ask the court to be appointed as the executor. So there’s a little bit of a process involved with this.

Once the will gets probated, the executor has just 60 days to get their act together. They’ve got 60 days to notify all of the heirs and all of the beneficiaries that are named, listed in the will.

So don’t sit around on this.

The surrogate’s office is really just for straightforward estates. If you’ve got a surviving spouse and everything’s going to the surviving spouse, easy-peasy.

If you’ve got everything detailed out, you can usually go right through the surrogate’s court.

However; if you have an estate where there’s going to be some disputes or objections. Or something is going to be contested – the will or the estate. You’ve got to go to Superior Court – the Chancery Division. So just know that in advance.

Hopefully things are straightforward for you.

But back to – you know you can’t sit around and wait on this stuff. You can’t dilly-dally.

If your bank or broker needs a surrogate certificate; the surrogate’s certificate is proof from the court that you are the executor and you are responsible for carrying out estate matters.

If your bank or broker needs a surrogate certificate — and it probably will. Those certificates are usually good for 30 to 60 days. You know the ones with the raised seal.

We had a situation, not too long ago, where someone produced a surrogate certificate that was a year old.

Not a big deal. They just had to go back to Surrogate’s Court and get an updated one with a raised seal on it
But just don’t dilly-dally when it comes to this stuff.

It’s a good idea to arrange to have access to some funds; when you become an executor. Because when you notify your bank or your broker that someone has passed away, technically they’re going to freeze these accounts. They’re going to put a hold on it, or a block on it. You can’t do any trades. You can’t take money out. So that money is going to be locked up, until you have the proper paperwork. So you want to have some cash available for this.

You’re certainly going to need a Surrogate certificate. You’re going to, may need, a form L-8.
You may need tax waivers; estate tax waivers. Especially if you’ve got stock certificates in hand. So if you’re handling an estate where they had stock certificates at home, or in a safe deposit box.

You’re going to need tax waivers. That’s when things start to get complicated. If you know there are stock certificates at home; please, get them into a brokerage account.

While we’re on the topic everyone’s going to need a death certificate.

For every bank that you deal with. Death certificate.
Every broker you deal with; going to need a death certificate.
If you want to change the title on the deed; death certificate.
If you want to change the title on a car. Death certificate.

You’re going to need more than you think. The funeral home you’re working with, can really help you out with that. Just be aware of this sort of thing.

You want to get a tax ID number for the estate.
Go to www.IRS.gov. It’s free. You can do it online, and get a number immediately.

You want to set up an estate account at your bank at your bank or broker.
It doesn’t have to be at the bank that that this person who passed away dealt with – you can have it anywhere.

You have to calculate the data of death value for all of the assets. This is a very common place for mistakes! A lot of people, for some reason, don’t know how to do this. A good advisor is going to know how to calculate a date of death value for an estate.

If you’ve got questions; definitely get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help you out. It is not simple and straight forward when it comes to being an executor.

We handle these things all the time. Most people might serve as an executor once or twice in their life.
We hope we can help you out.

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