New Jersey's 24th Legislative District

Senator Steven Oroho

Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho, Space & Phoebus Bills to Ease Process of Transferring Estates Signed into Law

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Two bills sponsored by District 24 legislators Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus streamlining the process and reducing the financial burden of transferring the assets of modest estates to a beneficiary were signed into law today by Governor Christie.

Two bills sponsored by Oroho, Space and Phoebus streamlining the process of transferring the assets of modest estates to a beneficiary were signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. (©iStock)

“I have heard from the Sussex County Surrogate Assemblyman Gary Chiusanohow burdensome it can be for families and counties to settle even modest estates when there is no will or clearly designated beneficiary,” said Oroho. “Both of these measures will ease what is often a costly and lengthy process for families already undergoing a very difficult time and also save time and resources at the county level.”

Under S-2251/A-3708 assets from an estate where there is no will valued up to $50,000 – as opposed to $20,000 under current law – could be transferred to a surviving spouse or partner without having to go through the process of administration. In the absence of a surviving spouse or partner, the bill raises from $10,000 to $20,000 the value of intestate estates, or estates where there is no will, that can be transferred to a heir without administration.

A second bill signed into law, S-2110/A-3343, also makes it easier to settle modest estates without the need for probate or administration by requiring nursing homes to encourage residents to designate a beneficiary to accept any remaining money in their personal needs allowance (PNA) accounts. Under the bill, the beneficiary form applies to any remaining balance in a deceased residents’ account that does not exceed $1,000.

“Eliminating the need for small estates to go through an expensive and tedious probate process, makes life easier for family members and the Surrogate Courts,” said Space. “One piece of paper, a completed beneficiary form, can simplify matters so much at a time when the family is grieving.”

“Families shouldn’t have to set up special bank accounts and go through long drawn out court processes just to figure out how to deal with these small expense accounts.” said Phoebus. “These changes really will make it easier for families and help unclog our courts.”

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