Where the total value of the real and personal assets of the estate of an intestate will not exceed $50,000, the surviving spouse, partner in a civil union, or domestic partner upon the execution of an affidavit before the Surrogate of the county where the intestate resided at his death, or, if then nonresident in this State, where any of the assets are located, or before the Superior Court, shall be entitled absolutely to all the real and personal assets without administration, and the assets of the estate up to $10,000 shall be free from all debts of the intestate. Upon the execution and filing of the affidavit as provided in this section, the surviving spouse, partner in a civil union, or domestic partner shall have all of the rights, powers and duties of an administrator duly appointed for the estate. The surviving spouse, partner in a civil union, or domestic partner may be sued and required to account as if he had been appointed administrator by the Surrogate or the Superior Court. The affidavit shall state that the affiant is the surviving spouse, partner in a civil union, or domestic partner of the intestate and that the value of the intestate's real and personal assets will not exceed $50,000, and shall set forth the residence of the intestate at his death, and specifically the nature, location and value of the intestate's real and personal assets. The affidavit shall be filed and recorded in the office of such Surrogate or, if the proceeding is before the Superior Court, then in the office of the clerk of that court. Where the affiant is domiciled outside this State, the Surrogate may authorize in writing that the affidavit be executed in the affiant's domicile before any of the officers authorized by R.S. 46:14-6.1 to take acknowledgments or proofs.
N.J.S. § 3B:10-3