I am the personal representative of my brother’s Gloucester County, New Jersey estate and all the assets pass into trust for his minor children. I am worried his ex-wife will object to everything that I do as executor as she is unhappy that she doesn’t get control over the children’s money. What can I do to avoid trouble?
This is one of those situations where no good deed goes unpunished. You are serving as your brother’s executor to make sure your nieces and nephews are properly cared for, but by serving as personal representative you are also responsible for any mistakes or errors you make that reduce the children’s inheritance.
If you take any action that reduces the inheritance, your former sister-in-law could object on behalf of the minor children and ask that you be surcharged. The judge does have the power to make you use your own money to make up for any mistake that reduces the children’s inheritance.
Your best option is to retain a law firm that has both an active Probate Department to assist you with probating the estate and an active Estate Litigation Department to help you prepare for your former sister-in-law’s inevitable objections. This way the estate will be completed in an efficient manner and perhaps she will see that there is no use in objecting. If she objects any way, the Estate Litigation Attorney can help file a Formal Accounting and be prepared with responses to objections.
If you have questions about Probate and litigation in Gloucester County, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.
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