I’ve decided on which area I will be focusing on to find probate leads (Morris County) and now it’s time to do a little detective work and uncover which newspaper contains the public notices.
Let me explain as to why we want to find the public notices. A decadent (the deceased) still has bills and outstanding debts that must be paid. These creditors must be notified of the persons passing in order to give them an opportunity to submit a collection claim. One of the first duties of an executor (or personal representative) of the estate is to publish a Death Notice to the local newspaper that publishes legal notices. The Death Notice could also be called an Estate Notice or Notice to Creditors.
I’ve searched in the past and have not really come up with definitive answer on which paper in my county published the notices as it’s usually not the major daily paper (mine being the Star Ledger or Daily Record). I’ve gotten a hint to look for the local legal newspaper and hopefully I’ll have some luck there.
Another prime spot that I’m going to check is online. Here are two websites that Ron suggests could be of some help…
I’m going to add to that list a check of my county’s surrogates office website. I’m not sure what the probate court is called in other states, but in New Jersey it’s called the Surrogate’s Office.
for a list of all other surrogate websites in New Jersey you can go here…
If I don’t have any luck on my own finding the public notices I will try a few of the following
- call a probate attorney’s office and speak with one of the staph members
- talk to one of the workers at the surrogate’s office
- find another probate investor and ask them
If all else fails I know I’ll be able to find the probate information at the courthouse, however, working a 9 to 5 job makes it very difficult for me to make it over there before they close. I may have to hire someone, but that is a discussion for another Probate Monday.
You have one week…GO!
P.S. Remember to post any questions or any helpful information that others could use.