How to Get a Copy of a Will in the State of New Jersey

By Salvatore Jackson

A will is a document created by a person that sets forth that person's wishes for the distribution of his property after he dies. To give legal effect to the will of a New Jersey resident, the will must be filed with a New Jersey Surrogate's Court. After the will has been filed with the Surrogate's Court, it becomes a public record, accessible by any interested individual. Obtaining a copy of a will filed in a New Jersey Surrogate's Court requires filing a records request with the appropriate New Jersey Surrogate's Court.

A will is a document created by a person that sets forth that person's wishes for the distribution of his property after he dies. To give legal effect to the will of a New Jersey resident, the will must be filed with a New Jersey Surrogate's Court. After the will has been filed with the Surrogate's Court, it becomes a public record, accessible by any interested individual. Obtaining a copy of a will filed in a New Jersey Surrogate's Court requires filing a records request with the appropriate New Jersey Surrogate's Court.

Step 1

Determine where the decedent's will was admitted to probate. New Jersey does not have a statewide searchable database of probated wills. Under New Jersey law, the proper venue for submitting a will to probate is either the New Jersey county where the decedent was a resident or any New Jersey county where the decedent owned property. You may need to check with the Surrogate's Court in multiple counties to determine where the will was filed.

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Step 2

Navigate to the website of the appropriate New Jersey Surrogate's Court. No New Jersey Surrogate's Court permits an individual to obtain a copy of an individual's will online. Obtaining a copy of a probated will involves filing a records request. The New Jersey Courts System maintains an online listing of all New Jersey court systems (see Resources).

Step 3

File a records request with the appropriate Surrogate's Court and pay the filing fee. The website of the county Surrogate's Court should list their procedure for filing a records request. You may need to call the Surrogate's Court to determine the procedure. While the fee varies among the counties of New Jersey, obtaining a copy of a will can cost between $5 and $20, as of 2010.

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References

Resources

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