This is called dying intestate and if you die without a Last Will and Testament as a resident of the the State of New Jersey your estate will be distributed according to the New Jersey laws of intestacy. Since there is no will to probate, your nearest living relative who is willing to do so will need to be appointed as administrator of your estate by the surrogate’s court.
However, not all of your assets will be distributed through the process of estate administration. There are many assets which, through contract law, pass automatically to a designated beneficiary. Examples of assets that pass automatically are:
- Real estate owned with another person as joint tenants