is there a way other than probate to get money out of a deceased’s bank account?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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is there a way other than probate to get money out of a deceased’s bank account?

My ex died without a Will and no assets other then a $1,200 bank account. My son, who lived with him, is named as next of kin on the death certificate. Does he have to go through probate court to get the $1,200? It seems like an awful lot of bother for just that amount.

Asked on November 1, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If a deceased person didn’t leave a Will or much property of value, then their surviving family members can take advantage of NJ's simplified probate procedure which is quicker and less expensive than regular probate. It is available if: (1) the value of all of the assets left by the deceased person doesn't exceed $20,000, and (2) in the case where there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner, the value of all of the assets doesn't exceed $20,000 (however, if there is a survivng spouse, then they are entitled to all of the money in the acount). One heir, with the written consent of the others, can file an affidavit (sworn statement) with the court and receive all the assets. You can contact the probate court in the county where your ex died to get more information on this.

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