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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    11

    Default Closing the Estate

    I'm done with distributing the estate I was administering. It was just one bank account that got divided into 3 equal pieces. It took a couple of months from the moment I became the administrator to filing signed Bond Releases with the court. No income, no taxes and no fees - I didn't bother since the beneficiaries are myself, my mom and her sister and the expenses were negligible.
    My bonding company insists on receiving one piece of paper from the court stating that the estate is closed and the court claims that there is no such thing, I should send them copies of filed bond releases and based on that they should release me from the bond. They also suggested filing an informal accounting second guessing the bonding company.

    Could someone please post an example of that? Is it just a letter stating that "in the matter of...." this and that happened? I'm not quite sure what to put in there and how to compose it properly in a situation described above.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Closing the Estate

    You appear to be saying that you found it easier to wrap up the estate without going through the court, despite the fact that you're obligated to follow proper legal procedures as the administrator of the estate, and thus have no order closing out the estate. If you want an order closing the estate, you need to fulfill your remaining duties to the court.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Closing the Estate

    No, no. I went through the court of course to be appointed the administrator. I followed the steps and notified the beneficiaries, moved the funds to the estate bank account, obtained signed Bond Release and Refund documents from the beneficiaries and filed them with court - these are the documents that state the beneficiaries received their part of the estate and release me from the financial responsibility in the amount received. At that point the court said I was done. They said the bonding company should accept court stamped bond releases from the beneficiaries in order to release me from the bond.
    As far as the creditors go I don't have to wait because New Jersey has dispensed with the concept of publishing a Notice to Creditors and now has a statutory nine month period for creditors to present their claims which begins to run on the date of death. The death occurred in 2003 plus the deceased wasn't even a US resident - he just happened to open and maintain a bank account in NJ years ago. His beneficiaries are also foreign residents (plus myself). Tax matters are of no interest to court.
    What they say is that there is no one piece of paper stating the estate is closed and I am forever the administrator until I either die or someone else takes over.
    I have to say that it does sound a bit strange to me: on one hand they say I'm totally done and never have to come back but on the other hand they wouldn't give me anything in writing confirming that statement.
    I would just shrug it off if it wasn't for the bonding company. The court suggested I could (don't have to) file with them an informal accounting where I would basically state how the estate was distributed and present it to the bonders. So what I'm asking for is an example of that informal accounting.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Closing the Estate

    It's not hard to find general examples; you may even be able to find one for New Jersey with enough searching.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Closing the Estate

    Thank you. I think I will be able to compose something now. But perhaps I won't have to after all. In the process of doing this research I ended up on the page of the Mercer county surrogate (I'm dealing with Essex) where I found this: "In an Administration that required a Surety Bond, the Administrator/trix must request a Certificate of Release from the Surrogate at the time he/she files the Refunding Bond and Release. A Surety Bond will not be cancelled by the insurance agent unless the Certificate of Release is presented to the agent. "
    I wonder if this is what the bonding company is asking for. My surrogate told me that they take the copy of the bond and stamp it as "Filed" (for a fee of course) but that's all I get. No mention of any Certificate of Release.

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