How can I avoid probate in New Jersey?

Home /

Blog /

How Can I Avoid Probate In New Jersey

When a person dies in New Jersey, and they have a will, their estate enters Probate Court. Probate is a concern for many estate planners. Planners seek to avoid it for a variety of reasons, including the fees and the lack of privacy it affords.

Thankfully, New Jersey residents have a variety of ways to avoid probate court.

Revocable trusts

A revocable trust is an effective way to avoid probate. All assets transferred into the trust are no longer considered part of the trustor’s estate and are therefore not subject to probate.

It should be noted that trusts have their own costs and are not suitable for every situation.

Joint ownership

A person’s house is normally the most valuable thing they own and comprises a considerable portion of their estate. This being said, an effective way to keep your house out of your estate (and thus out of probate) is making your spouse a joint owner.

A joint owner has what’s known as the right of survivorship, which means they simply receive full ownership of the house when their spouse dies.

Payable on death bank accounts

When a person creates a payable on death account (POD), they retain full control of the account for the duration of their life. When they die, full ownership of the account is transferred to a designated person, keeping the account’s assets out of probate.

When it comes to avoiding probate court, or any other estate planning strategy, it’s necessary to seek the help of an experienced trusts and estates lawyer.

A lawyer can determine if a strategy is aligned with your interests while identifying risks a regular person may never contemplate.

New Jersey residents shouldn’t hesitate to reach out. If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out-of-pocket cost to the client.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

Meet Your Attorney


Attorney Mike took our call & agreed to meet with us for a free consultation. During our meeting he was very thorough in explaining the legal process, approach, cost, and time needed for our case. His fee was very reasonable. I would definitely recommend him to others. You certainly will not regret it should you decide to use his services.
— R. Maraj