The first right to apply for Letters of Administration With the Will Annexed is in the residuary clause of the Will. The residuary legatee is the person to whom a testator bequeaths the residue of his personal estate after payment of such legacies as specifically mentioned in the Will. If more than one residuary legatee is named, each would be equally entitled to make application.
If the Will contains no residuary clause, any part of the Will which disposes of property not expressly disposed of by other provisions of the Will, any of the next-of-kin may apply upon obtaining renunciations from the next-of-kin of the same degree of kinship to the testator.
It is necessary at the outset to ascertain certain information in order to do an Administration C.T.A. ( See Information Sheet For Administration)
1. Check the death certificate to determine which Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction. The Administration C.T.A. must be done in the county where the decedent resided.
2. Check the Will to be sure that it is the original Will, not a conformed copy. Only an original Will may be entered into probate.
3. Determine who the named executor/trix is in the Will. If he/she has predeceased the testator obtain a certified copy of the death certificate.
4. Determine the Administrator C.T.A. by the residuary clause.
5. Check to see if the Will is "self-proved" N.J.S.A. 3B:3-2. If not, a witness needs to be located to execute a Proof of Witness.
6. List all next-of-kin with names, addresses and ages, if minor. If there are any deceased next-of-kin then their issue must be named.
7. List all the assets in the decedent’s name alone in order to determine the number of short certificates that will be requested.
8. Determine the value of these assets for the purpose of securing a surety bond.
The Administration C.T.A. cannot occur until the eleventh day from date of death. The procedure may be initiated in the Surrogate’s Court earlier but issuance of the short certificates will not occur until the eleventh day. This ten day period allows for the filing of a caveat by proper degree of kinship.
The Administration C.T.A. process is initiated with presenting the original Will together with the death certificate of the decedent and the death certificate of the named executor/trix. If the purported
Will is adjudicated to be valid than an Application for Administration C.T.A. which cites the reason why such administration is sought and the value of the assets comprising the estate, an Authorization To Accept Service of Process and an Administrator C.T.A. Qualification are prepared by the Surrogate for execution by the Administrator C.T.A.
An Administrator C.T.A. must sign a surety bond as principal his/her signature must be witnessed.
When the Administrator C.T.A. has paid funeral expenses, taxes, creditors, performed Child Support Judgment searches on the beneficiaries and made distribution to the beneficiaries under the Will then Refunding Bonds and Releases must be executed by all who inherited from the decedent’s estate. Each beneficiary must complete a Bond and sign before a Notary Public. This Bond is filed with the Surrogate. The Surrogate will issue to the Administrator/trix C.T.A. a Certificate of Release which the Administrator/trix presents to the bonding agent to be released from the Bond. This bond also ensures that if a creditor were to make a claim against the estate at a later date, all beneficiaries would place monies back into the estate for payment. Remember, however, that an estate is only liable for debts up to the value of the assets of the estate.
An Application for Substitutionary Administration C.T.A. (With the Will Annexed) is filed when (1) the Will has been admitted to probate and the appointed fiduciary thereafter ceases to serve and an alternate executor is not properly named or is not named at all or (2) the named Administrator C.T.A. dies before completing his/her duties.
The Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A. must make application which will have additional language setting forth the facts of the appointment of the original administrator/trix or executor/trix and the reason for discontinuance of service, sign an Authorization To Accept Service of Process (Power of Attorney) and an Substitutionary Administration C.T.A. Qualification. The death certificate of the Administrator C.T.A. or executor/trix must be presented. A bond will be required of the Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A.
The Surrogate will issue Letters of Sustitutionary Administration C.T.A. and Substitutionary Administrator C.T.A. Short Certificates. Refunding Bonds and Releases must be filed to get a Certificate of Release to cancel the surety bond.