There are three clear exceptions to when probate is not required but for the vast majority of estates, probate will be required. Probate is the formal process for closing out the administration of a person’s estate and involves paying their final debts and distributing any remaining assets to their heirs.
Even in cases in which the decedent did not leave clear instructions about the transfer of their assets in a will, probate must still be opened to account for the formal administration issues. As mentioned above there are three specific circumstances when probate is not required. First of all, specific assets that might not require court supervision because they transfer automatically at death are not included in the probated estate.
Consider life insurance policies and retirement accounts that have stated beneficiaries great examples of this. In some rare occasions, probate might not be required for certain estates that fall below a certain economic threshold which eliminates the need for any core supervision.
Finally, if the deceased individual created a living trust for the purposes of estate planning which held assets that belonged to them, only those assets that are included in the living trust do not transfer through the probate process. Probate could still be required in this situation but not for those assets that were properly titled into the living trust. For more information about the New Jersey probate process, set aside time to speak with an experienced lawyer.