We want to close out my mother in laws checking account and return the pension money that was deposited in the account after we notified them of her passing with the funds in her account. The account has about $400 in it besides the $445 from the pension.Her bank is reqesting a "short certificate" before they can do anything. There is no Estate or will she rented & lived check to check. We have notified all of the bills that we will not be probating since it will cost us more in days off of work & legal fees at our expense. They all said that they will check with a probate company and if that is the case they will wipe out the balance. What can we do to pay back the Pension & Pay her utility bill with the remainder of money.
I almost forgot what should we do about her taxes. She had No will & both live in Passaic County NJ.
You should contact the surrogate's office at the courthouse in the county in which your mother-in-law resided. Explain that she had no will and only one bank account with a small balance. If you have her death certificate, they will help you obtain a short certificate. The clerk in the surrogate's office can tell you what you need to do, give you the correct forms and tell you who needs to sign them. Once you obtain the certificate, work with her bank to obtain the funds in the account, pay her bills and return funds to her pension fund. You can probably do this without a lawyer, and without taking days off from work (though I believe you will need to visit the surrogate's office at least once).
Disclaimer: This is answer is offered for general information and not legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship.