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FAQs: What Needs To Be Done When Someone Dies

Hudson Law Firm Dec. 24, 2022

Here are some FAQs about what needs to be done when someone dies in New Jersey:

  1. Who should be notified when someone dies in New Jersey?

  • The next of kin should be notified as soon as possible.

  • The deceased person's doctor, lawyer, and/or clergyperson should also be notified.

  • If the deceased person was receiving any government benefits (e.g. Social Security, Medicaid), those agencies should be notified as well.

  1. What should be done with the deceased person's property?

  • If the deceased person had a will, it should be located and followed as closely as possible.

  • If the deceased person did not have a will, their property will be distributed according to New Jersey's laws of intestate succession.

  • It may be necessary to inventory the deceased person's property and obtain appraisals for certain items.

  1. What should be done with the deceased person's body?

  • The next of kin should make arrangements for the deceased person's funeral or cremation.

  • The funeral home will handle the transportation of the body and any necessary paperwork.

  1. What should be done about the deceased person's debts?

  • The executor of the deceased person's estate (if there is a will) or the administrator (if there is no will) should gather information about the deceased person's debts and assets.

  • The debts should be paid from the deceased person's assets, if possible.

  • If the deceased person's debts exceed their assets, the creditors may need to be notified that the estate is insolvent.

  1. Do I need a lawyer to handle the deceased person's affairs in New Jersey?

  • It is not required to hire a lawyer to handle the affairs of the deceased person in New Jersey, but it can be helpful to have legal assistance, especially if the estate is complex or there are disputes among the heirs.

  • A lawyer can provide guidance on the probate process, help ensure that the deceased person's wishes are carried out, and protect the rights of the heirs.

Please note that these are just general guidelines, and the specific steps that need to be taken when someone dies in New Jersey will depend on the individual circumstances. It is always a good idea to seek the advice of a legal professional if you have questions about what to do in this situation.