I have a json response class like this:

public with sharing class Response {
    public Person person;
    public class Person {
        public PersonData personData = new PersonData ();
        public Death death = new Death();
    public class Death {
        public String yearOfDeath;
        public String dayOfDeath;
        public String monthOfDeath;

I can get a response such as:

   "Person": {
             PersonData: {

Note that there is no Death in the response. The callout class captures the response, Response personResp = JSON.deserialize(response.getBody(), Response.class)) and sends personResp to the lwc controller class, where I have an AccountWrapper class, which has variables for which the values of personResp will be assigned like this:

AccountWrapper accountWrapper = new AccountWrapper();
accountWrapper.personDeathYear = person.death.yearOfDeath;

This wrapper class is sent to front end for displaying the fields. The problem is if I do:

accountWrapper.personDeathYear = person.death.yearOfDeath;

I get Attempt to de-reference a null object. Now, I can put null check at 2nd level i.e., for death, but I have others that go like this:

accountWrapper.streetName = person.addressData.address.addressEnglish.streetName; //5 levels

Is there a better way than putting null check at every level for each accountWrapper variable?

2 Answers 2


You can use the Safe Navigation Operator (?.) to safely ignore null values:

accountWrapper.personDeathYear = person.death?.yearOfDeath;

This returns null the moment a NullPointerException would instead be thrown. This is far easier than adding getters or explicitly checking null values via ternary operators.


There are a lot of ways to do it. Here I would probably just add a getter on Person.

public class Person
    public Death death;
    public Integer yearOfDeath
            return death == null ? null : death.yearOfDeath;
  • so its basically like adding if statements at every level, but using getter methods, right?
    – nSv23
    Jan 5, 2021 at 16:53
  • Yeah. And you can one line it. You have to put the if statements somewhere. But you haven't really shown us a clear picture of how you're consuming this data, so it's hard to say what would be the cleanest approach.
    – Adrian Larson
    Jan 5, 2021 at 16:58
  • I am doing JSON.deserialize(response.getBody(), Person.class), if you meant by consume.
    – nSv23
    Jan 5, 2021 at 17:02
  • also why are you putting yearOfDeath under Person class? it is a variable under Death class
    – nSv23
    Jan 5, 2021 at 17:06
  • 3
    P.S. New Safe Navigation Operator: return death?.yearOfDeath;
    – sfdcfox
    Jan 5, 2021 at 18:15

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