Surrogate Docs

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Surrogate Docs

My mom just recently passed away without a Will. She had a car that she was paying on and still has 4 more years to pay it off. My brother and I are the only ones left of the family. I was listed as a driver under her car insurance and when I called to tell them that she had passed away and if I can continue to drive the car since her policy was paid up to the end of the month, they wouldn’t talk to me and said that I needed surrogate docs. I don’t know what they are and how to get them. What happens next? Do I really need these documents and how do I get them?

Asked on March 23, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Is that all you Mom had?  Was the car?  And she died without a Will?  Then you can likely file a Small Estate Affidavit in an Administration of your Mom's estate.  That would give you the rights you need to collect and tranfer her assets (although the holder of the car loan can likely call in the loan).  Here is an outline from one of the counties in NJ but the law is the same throughout the state.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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