Klenk Law

Tag: Burlington County

In New Jersey How Long Does It Take to Get an Inheritance?

Posted on Wed Aug 17, 2016, on Probate and Estate Administration

From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “My Uncle died 4 months ago in Burlington County, New Jersey. I am in the Will. How long does it take to get an Inheritance?”

The time it takes to get an inheritance can vary widely between estates in New Jersey. Many factors that can impact a Personal Representative. The concern I have is that the Personal Representative is not adequately communicating his or her plan of action. An Executor or Personal Representative should clearly communicate to you an estimate of when you are receiving your inheritance.

I want to leave my Special Needs Child money when I die, but I don’t want to disqualify her for Medicaid. What can I do?

Posted on Sat Dec 26, 2015, on Special Needs Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My adult daughter is a Special Needs Child who has always lived in Burlington County, New Jersey. She will likely always live here and always need care. She is currently eligible for and using Medicaid. When I die, I want to leave her some money, but I don’t want to disqualify her for Medicaid. What can I do?

Can I challenge the claim of my mother’s caregiver on my deceased mother’s estate?

Posted on Sun Nov 29, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother’s caregiver informed us at the funeral that my mother signed a will giving the caregiver all her money. What can we do?

In general, if she has not filed the will yet, you could have an experienced will contest lawyer file paperwork to stop her from filing the will. You can then take stock of the situation. You will then know when the will was signed, who are the witnesses, if the signature is your mother’s, and who drafted the will. You can also surmise your mother’s mental state on the date the will was signed.

What will happen to my friend’s website after he dies?

Posted on Wed Oct 28, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My friend created a website with valuable information. He died unexpectedly and it seems that his executor is allowing his hosting account to lapse. Could the executor access this information and sell it for the estate?

The ownership of the website, the data thereon, and the ability of the Executor to gather and use or sell that date will depend on the agreement your friend signed with the host. The Executor has the power to ask questions about the site and gather information about the site. This can be a slow and laborious process if your friend did not leave information about accessing the account.

What happens to my daughter’s inheritance if my future son-in-law refuses to sign a prenuptial agreement?

Posted on Wed Oct 21, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: What if my future son-in-law refuses to sign a prenuptial agreement? Can he claim a share of what I leave my daughter?

If your daughter marries her fiancé without a prenuptial agreement, and commingles with her husband’s assets what she inherits from you, then—in a divorce—she may lose a share or all of her inheritance. Further, if she dies after receiving the inheritance, she may give all of her inheritance to her husband who is free to then leave those assets as he sees fit at his death.

My aunt lived with me during the last years of her life and I took care of her. Can I get paid for the care I provided her?

Posted on Tue Oct 20, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Before she died, my aunt lived with me in Burlington County, New Jersey for several years. My wife and I took her to the doctor and cared for her when she became bedridden. She died without a will and all her assets are being divided between my cousins. They never helped with her care. This is not fair. Can I make the estate pay me for my time?

Under New Jersey rules, your Aunt could have made a will and given you the entire estate, or had a will that said you would receive some of her estate to reflect the work you did. Because she did not make a will, the New Jersey intestate rule divides her assets between all her children, equally.

Can I avoid my deceased husband’s creditors by not opening his estate?

Posted on Mon Oct 19, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband died a resident of Burlington County without a will. All his assets were owned joint accounts with me. This week, I received a form letter in the mail saying a bank had issued a statement and proof of claim against my husband’s estate and requesting immediate payment in full. It is addressed to his estate, but came in the mail to me. What should I do?

When someone dies without a will and all their assets are held jointly with a spouse, there is no need to file a will. The assets pass to the surviving spouse because of the joint ownership. That being said, avoiding probate this way does not mean that your husband avoided his creditors.

My daughter moved into my rental property after her divorce and stopped paying rent. At my death, I don’t think she will move out.

Posted on Thu Oct 8, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: After her divorce, my daughter moved into a rental property I own to get on her feet. She was supposed to pay rent, but never has. It now appears she will not be moving out. I don’t want to make an issue of it now. But, if I die, that property is supposed to be sold and the money divided up equally between my two children. If she refuses to move, selling the property will be a problem. Any suggestions?

Recognizing the problem is a good beginning. First, you should revisit whom you have named as the Personal Representative in your will. This person need be firm enough and diplomatic enough to handle this problem. You should consider naming a neutral party to reduce conflict between your children.

Can I be sued as the estate’s Personal Representative?

Posted on Tue Sep 29, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My aunt’s will names me as her Personal Representative and divides the estate between all of her nieces and nephews. We are not a close family and there have been disputes in the past. I am worried that my cousins will be angry that I was named the Personal Representative and may cause trouble. Can they sue me as the Personal Representative?

If you agree to be sworn in by the Surrogate as the estate’s Personal Representative, you will then have a fiduciary duty to all beneficiaries to act in their best interest. You will be given broad powers and be largely unsupervised by the Surrogate.

To counter these broad powers, the beneficiaries are given the right to petition Surrogate’s Court to review every action and expense. Should the court find that any action of yours reduced their inheritance, the judge could choose to surcharge you (fine you) to make up for any loss.

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