You have to get Letters of Administration from the probate court. You need to open a probate estate in order to get one. Please consult a probate attorney to see if it is worthwhile to open a probate estate.
My colleague is quite right, you will probably need to qualify as personal representative (administrator) of your mother's estate. If the amount of the check is small and your mother left no Will you may be able to proceed without a full administration, under a special procedure in New Jersey. If the check is larger, it's likely worth your while to open an administration. You can do this yourself, your local surrogate's office will help you, but if the check is more than, say, $10,000, I would recommend that you strongly consider hiring an attorney to help you. Best of luck.
This answer is based on general legal principles only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the formation of a lawyer-client relationship. Any reader of this answer should not make decisions based upon in without first directly consulting with an attorney.
You should contact the office of the Ocean County Surrogate. You will need letters of Administration, if
there was no will. Otherwise, please contact an experienced estate attorney.
VOSBIKIAN & VOSBIKIAN, L.L.C. (856) 755-1400, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - Offices in Atlantic City, Cherry Hill, Newark, and Trenton, NJ. Please consult with a licensed attorney to provide you with a thorough legal advice. This response is not a substitute for specific legal advice and it should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship. Please visit and share this site: www.voslaw.com