Ask Nick – Intestate Succession in NJ

Question:

Our Mortgagor is deceased and died without a will. She was in title with her daughter and another person. The Obituary states she is survived by her parents, brothers and a daughter. Who needs to be joined in the foreclosure action?

Answer:

When someone dies intestate (without a Will) in New Jersey, real property passes according the Descent Act. As of February 27, 2005, title would generally pass as follows:

  1. to the spouse;
  2. to the children;
  3. to the parents;
  4. to brothers and sisters;
  5. to the grandparents;
  6. to collateral heirs;
  7. to step-children;
  8. if none of the above, then to the State of New Jersey.

Therefore, in your scenario the mortgagor’s share of the property would pass to her daughter. She should be served individually (for her existing share of the property) and as the heir of the deceased mortgagor. The other person in title should also be served. As for the rest of the family of the deceased, they would not have any interest in the property, so they do not need to be joined in the foreclosure action.

Please note that succession of Heirs should be determined on a case by case basis as there are additional stipulations that may come into play upon full examination. Click here to view Intestate Succession in NJ in more detail http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-new-jersey.html.

Do YOU have a title query? Please submit your question to info@fortunereo.com. Check back regularly and sign up for our e-newsletter for Nick’s answers to client questions and his thoughts on topics related to all aspects of the title industry.

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