Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
First, let me tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your husband. I know what a difficult time this must be for you and I will keep you in my prayers!
The following link will provide you the guidelines for notifying Social Security. The following link will help guide you: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10008.pdf . Also, in many cases, the funeral director will do this for you once provided with your husband's social security number. The next thing you will want to do is to file a petition with the probate court in the county in which you reside. In NJ, this is called the surrogate court
. If your husband had a will, you will ask the court to validate the will and officially appoint the executor named in the will to administer the estate. If no will, the intestate succession laws will be applicable to the probate estate and the court will still appoint an executor to administer the estate. It's important to realize that certain assets pass outside probate and thus are not governed by the will (or intestate succession laws if there is no will) and thus do not require probate. These include the following: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries
other than the estate such as life insurance
and retirement accounts.
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