By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Probate Estate Administration Attorney

The answer to the question raised in the title of this blog, is yes.

An Estate representative can apply for probate on behalf of a person who lived in New Jersey at the time of his/her death provided there is “real or personal property located within the state” and further provided there are no proceedings pending in the state or country of the decedent’s domicile/residence.

If the individual in question had no intention of returning to his home located out-of-state and he/she had at least some personal property within New Jersey, then so long as no one is applying for probate in their state of domicile the application for probate in New Jersey should be granted.

Jurisdiction to allow probate is not based on being a New Jersey domicile at death it is based on having some personal or real property within New Jersey.  If all beneficiaries are of one mind (no one masterminding for probate out of state), an Executor can validly claim there is “some” personal property within New Jersey.

According to the revision history of the New Jersey Probate Statute, a change was made to the New Jersey Rules of Court in 1996.  The old rule, R:82 et seq. required that a non-resident Last Will and Testament be submitted for probate in their home state of domicile before it could be submitted in New Jersey for ancillary probate purposes.  This, however, is no longer the rule and can be a big benefit to avoid costly and complicated probate in some states, especially New York.

To discuss your NJ Probate Estate Administration matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.