Thank you. I am guessing that his name was the only name on the home, and yours was not.
On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of these times.
Allow me to explain how probate works here, if you would.The Need for Probate
When someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate - with assets such as titled property or bank accounts - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.
So one files probate. Once probate is filed, the Executor of the estate gets something called a Letter of Testament/Administration
(hereinafter "Letter"). This Letter will allow the Executor to switch over the assets from the deceased individual to whoever will own the property. It is like a "Power of Attorney
," but from the Court. Without that Letter, there is no way to transfer titled property and switch the assets into the beneficiaries
' hands.Who Gets What?
If there was a will, then the will dictates the inheritance. If there was no will, then the Court goes off default rules succession
, which in New Jersey may be found here
According to 3B:5-4
, a child is next in line to inherit the property/assets.
Ergo:if someone is deceased and no will is found, does the home and everything automatically go to his children ?
Yes, I am afraid so.Even if the deceased was estranged from his child?
Yes. Even if they were estranged, unless he specifically
had a will and wrote her out of it, then she stands to inherit even if they were not on good terms.
Of course, the onus is on HER to file for probate to have this done.
Of course, if you can locate a will that writes her out, then you would be the next in line to inherit.
I am very sorry.
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