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jb156200, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 119
Experience:  I am a Probate Attorney practicing in Tampa, Florida.
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About a week ago my childhood friend that I grew up with

Customer Question

About a week ago my childhood friend that I grew up with died. I found out that he had passed when his landlord called me to give me the news since he had listed me as an emergency contact on his rental application, which I was not aware of. Now he has no living children, or parents. I thought he was an only child, but I am not sure. Someone said they thought he may have a brother, But I don't now of him, and he never discussed any siblings to me. I saw a social security form that he has an estranged wife, but I do not know her, could not find her through internet searches, and companies that help you locate people. Since I was on that one form everyone thinks I am in charge, but he does need to be buried and his estate handled and affairs. Can I go to court to become executor of his estate? What paperwork do I need, how can I move forward with all of the unknowns in this situation? Not sure what to do.
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

Good Afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed Estate Attorney. I am very sorry to hear about your friend and hope I can be of assistance. Did he pass away in New Jersey? Did he have a Will?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
he passed away in NJ. There is no will we can find, We have searched his personal spaces.
Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

Ok. First you will need a certified death certificate. You can get one through the funeral home. If you can't get one through the funeral home, then you need to hire a New Jersey Probate attorney. The attorney has the ability to order and obtain a certified death certificate. The attorneys fees and court costs are paid by the assets in the estate.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

Once you have a certified death certificate then the attorney will prepare a Petition to have you appointed as the Executor of the estate. Since there is no Will and no surviving spouse or children, you may be appointed the executor.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

Once you are appointed you have the ability to handle all of the affairs of your friend, including doing an heir search. As the executor you may also receive a fee for serving as the executor. Keep in mind if you take a fee for serving as the executor, you need to report this as ordinary income on your tax return.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
What kind of document do i need to give the morgue to remove his body in order to get him to the funeral home?
Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

The funeral home deals with the coroner's office to have the body released and transported to the funeral home.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

You may need to be appointed executor by the court first in order to have the authority to enter into a contract with the funeral home.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

Please let me know if you have an additional question or need clarification of any of the information provided. Please do not forget to rate my answer. I greatly appreciate a positive review. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi, I called the morgue and they said I need an affidavits of disposition to get his body to the funeral home. Can you give me information about this?
Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

Hello. This is done through the funeral home. There are several documents that you will need to review and sign with the funeral home you choose. The funeral home then submits these documents to the medical examiner. The body may only be released to a licensed funeral director in New Jersey. Have you contacted a funeral home?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
The morgue said I have go to the surrogates court to submit the form, then after they research for next if kin and none is found they will execute the order, which I will give the funeral home to get the body? What are your thoughts?
Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

What they are requesting is that you go to the Surrogate Court in the County in which he died and complete and file an Affidavit of Inquiry. This document is required if there are difficulties locating heirs or if they even exist. They may require a publication of Notice of Probate in a local newspaper. Basically, this is a legal notice that says if an individual believes they may be an heir, they have so many days to come forward and prove their bloodline.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

Since you are not blood, you will need to obtain a court order granting you the authority to make funeral arrangement on behalf of your friend. I know this seems like a daunting task but it can be completed.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Is the affidavit an enter the information on the blank lines or is it a form I would need to create myself? Is so what details need to be noted and notarized?
Expert:  jb156200 replied 11 days ago.

You will be asked to list, to the best of your knowledge, any known heirs and their contact information. You will also be asked to swear under penalties of perjury, whether he had a surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings. You simply state what you know for a fact to the best of your knowledge and then sign the Affidavit in the presence of a notary. It is a form the Surrogate Court will have at their office. You do not need to prepare it; however, if you are using an attorney, their office may prepare one for you.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi, another question....Genealogy this done through the State Health and Vital records' agency, or is it best handled through a third party company...... so that the confirmation would be deemed valid and acceptable in the courts' expectation of due diligence. Your thoughts?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Can you also speak to the document known as "Order to show Cause", "Emergency Injunction", as and well as "Verify or Verification of Complaint" I think it is called. Thanks for your help. Looking forward to your response.
Expert:  jb156200 replied 9 days ago.

Hello. Vital Statistics is a good way to begin an heir search; however, most attorneys hire a third party private company to conduct an heir search. My office we uses Blake & Blake Genealogists.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 9 days ago.

Once you are appointed the executor of the estate you will have severally responsibilities to complete on behalf of the estate. Some of these tasks must be done within a specific timeline. Let's say the Inventory of the estate assets was due to be filed on November 1, 2016, and you do not file the Inventory by this date, then the court will issue an Order to Show Cause. It is a reminder from the court to the executor that a document has not been filed timely and the executor has so many days in which to comply with the filing otherwise the executor will be required to appear in court and explain to the judge why the document has not been filed.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 9 days ago.

To verify a complaint, means you sign a document yourself and not just through your attorney. There are some documents an attorney can file on your behalf without your signature. Other documents must be signed by you, which means it is a Verified document.

I'm a little confused as to why you are asking about an Emergency Injunction as it pertains to your original question, which was can you become the executor of the estate and what paperwork do you need.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
The emergency injunction as it relates to putting the case on the docket to be reviewed by the court immediately since he has been in the morgue for three weeks now. What are your thouhts? I will follow up later after I visit the funeral home.
Expert:  jb156200 replied 9 days ago.

When you file the opening administration paperwork to be appointed as the Executor of the estate, you may tell the clerk that you would like to set an Emergency Hearing to be appointed as soon as possible. The clerk will then ask if and what the exigent circumstances are requiring an emergency hearing. Explain the situation with the having the body released and buried as soon as possible. The clerk will then direct you to the proper form, based on the circumstances, to set an emergency hearing.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
is there any help the county can give to have the body released to the community for burial?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi, you have not answered my last question. Thanks
Expert:  jb156200 replied 7 days ago.

Payment for burial of unclaimed bodies is governed by New Jersey Code 40A:9-49.

40A:9-49. Payment for burial of unclaimed bodies
The county medical examiner upon taking charge of unidentified or unclaimed dead bodies shall make burial arrangements. If the decedent left an ascertainable estate able to pay for the burial, the cost thereof certified by the official in charge shall be payable out of such estate. If the decedent left no ascertainable estate able to pay for the burial, the cost of burial shall be borne:

a. if the decedent was an adult or emancipated child with surviving spouse, by the surviving spouse,

b. if the decedent was an unemancipated child with a surviving parent, by the surviving parent, or

c. if there is no surviving spouse or parent, as applicable, by the county.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks. When it comes to his assets. Like those at the bank, if a beneficiary is listed, do they get the assests, or does it have to go to probate first? Also since she was emergency contact on the apartment can she liquidate those assets and retain the cash or property, are they hers to dispose of or keep? Does this have to go through probate, or does you keep them in storage and report it to the court, and become a creditor of the estate to get time and storage fees back? Is there a dollar amount if met does not need to go to probate? Thanks
Expert:  jb156200 replied 6 days ago.

If there is a beneficiary listed on a bank account then the account is the beneficiaries money free and clear. The assets held in the apartment are assets of the estate, and the executor is in charge of collecting those items of property and administering them. The items will go through probate and it is up to the executor whether they want to open a storage room or not. The estate assets are to pay the expenses associated with the storage.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
If the state finds assets he left, like bank account, etc., will they allow us to give him a proper burial, are there monatary limits, and then they proceed with the creditors? How does that work?
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
If the apartment manager asks for items removed by end of month what safe keeping by law can they be held to as far as disposal or auctioning while case is resolved.
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Also if we go through a probate lawyer and being just friends what percentage chance will there be of being given authority over the remains by a court, since we are'nt linked through the bloodline.
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
please reply to my questions i sent yesterday. thanks
Expert:  jb156200 replied 3 days ago.

3B:22-2 Order of priority of claims when assets insufficient. 3B:22-2. If the applicable assets of the estate are insufficient to pay all claims in full, the personal representative shall make payment in the following order:

a.Reasonable funeral expenses;

b.Costs and expenses of administration;

c.Debts for the reasonable value of services rendered to the decedent by the Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults;

d.Debts and taxes with preference under federal law or the laws of this State;

e.Reasonable medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, including compensation of persons attending him;

f.Judgments entered against the decedent according to the priorities of their entries respectively;

g.All other claims.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Does the apartment management have the right to dispose of his belongings before the case is settled or an executor chosen?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I think I am about done. Please respond when you have a chance.
Expert:  jb156200 replied 2 day ago.

2A:18-72. Disposal of remaining personal property abandoned by tenant 1. A landlord of commercial or residential property, in the manner provided by P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-72 et al.), may dispose of any tangible goods, chattels, manufactured or mobile homes or other personal property left upon a premises by a tenant after giving notice as required by section 2 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-73), only if the landlord reasonably believes under all the circumstances that the tenant has left the property upon the premises with no intention of asserting any further claim to the premises or the property and: a. A warrant for removal has been executed and possession of the premises has been restored to the landlord; or b. The tenant has given written notice that he or she is voluntarily relinquishing possession of the premises. The provisions of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-72 et al.) shall not apply to the disposal of tenant property left on nonresidential rental property if there is a lease in effect which has been duly executed by all parties which contains specific terms and conditions for the disposal of tenant property.

Expert:  jb156200 replied 2 day ago.

Since the tenant has passed away, the landlord must give notice to the tenant's estate and the appointed Executor.

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