Klenk Law

Tag: Camden County

Caring for my mother with Alzheimer’s, Can I be Reimbursed?

Posted on Thu Jan 21, 2016, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother has Alzheimer’s, so we have sold her house and moved her into my house where my wife and I care for her. My brother is emotionally supportive, but he lives in California so he does not help out with her day-to-day care or decisions dealing with her health or assets. Though she is cooperative, the Alzheimer’s makes caring for her a near full-time job and we have spent a great deal of money on alterations to the house. Can I be reimbursed from her estate for these expenses?

How do I get a Personal Representative to hold up their end of a will’s terms?

Posted on Mon Nov 16, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My Mom’s will says that all estate money is divided equally between her children. The Personal Representative said she would be writing us equal checks. It has been 9 months and I have not received a check. How do I get her to hold up her end of the will terms?

New Jersey gives the Personal Representative a great deal of unsupervised power to handle the estate. If you feel that this power is being abused, you have the right to force her to appear in court and explain herself. You can hire an attorney experienced in Surrogate’s Court litigation who can file for you a Petition forcing the Personal Representative to file a Schedule of Distribution, which is her road-map plan of how she will distribute the estate’s assets.

Can I be sued as the estate’s personal representative?

Posted on Mon Oct 19, 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 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, then you have a fiduciary duty to all beneficiaries to act in their best interest. You will be given broad powers and will 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.

What if I think my brother used undue influence to change my father’s will?

Posted on Thu Oct 15, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My brother used undue influence on my father — who suffered from Alzheimer’s — to change his will. I have filed a will contest in Camden County. My brother’s attorney is not doing any work, as he says the burden is on me. Is he correct?

When you are the challenger in a will contest the initial burden of proof is on you to show that the will was created under undue influence. An experienced will contest lawyer can explain this burden to you, as it is a bit too complex for a blog post.

I may have accidentally tossed out mom’s will. What if we never find it?

Posted on Mon Oct 5, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother died four months ago as a resident of Camden County and my sister and I cannot locate her will. We thought it thought it would be in the safe deposit box, but it was not. I cleaned out all of her papers in the house. Now, I think I may have accidentally thrown out the will. What can we do?

If your mother’s will cannot be located, then your mother is considered to have died “intestate,” meaning without a will. When someone dies without a will in New Jersey, the New Jersey Rules of Intestacy apply. These rules dictate who is eligible to serve as the Administrator of the estate and how your mother’s assets will be divided up. If we can find a copy held by the lawyer, it is possible to file the copy, but I would need to know more facts.

How do I keep my children from evicting my second husband from the house?

Posted on Fri Sep 4, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My second husband and I live in a house that I own outright. If I die, I want him to be able to live in the house as long as he chooses, but I want my children to inherit the house when he moves out or dies. How do I keep them from evicting him from the house?

Avoiding conflict between children from the first marriage and the second spouse can be challenging, but if you are honest about the personalities involved, there is usually a way to satisfy everyone. One option in your case is to form a trust in your will that holds your house.

In my will, can I form trusts to hold my jewelry?

Posted on Thu Aug 20, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have some very nice pieces of jewelry that I would like to make sure stays in the family, passing from oldest daughter to oldest daughter. Can I form a trust in my will to hold jewelry?

Yes, in your will, you can form a trust to hold almost anything. In the past, I have formed trusts to hold real estate, artwork, and even a rather unique chair. The trust’s terms can be crafted to suit your needs, including making sure your jewelry is held for the eldest daughter.

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