Klenk Law

Tag: Surrogate

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

Posted on Mon Nov 16, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

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.

Is the Personal Representative personally liable to the estate beneficiaries?

Posted on Fri Oct 30, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I filed my father’s will with the Surrogate and was named the Personal Representative, but am having second thoughts. My family is litigious. Can I be sued and found personally liable?

By accepting the position of Personal Representative you became a fiduciary with a duty to the beneficiaries. If your family is litigious, you are right to be concerned. All the beneficiaries have the right to petition the Surrogates Court and ask the court to surcharge you should they feel any action you took reduced their inheritance. This could be a sale of land at too low a price, a fee you paid to a creditor, or even your salary.

Obtaining Decedent’s Bank Assets in New Jersey

Posted on Fri Jul 31, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father died a resident of Burlington County, New Jersey. I live in California. His only asset was his bank account, and I am his only child, but the bank will not give me the account. They say I need to get a certified certificate from the Surrogate. Why is this?

When someone dies a resident of New Jersey, their assets pass to other persons or entities either under their will or, if they have no will, by the New Jersey rules of intestacy.

The bank has no idea who should get those funds in his account, as your father could have a will giving them to anyone

Do I Need to Probate In Atlantic County, New Jersey?

Posted on Sat Apr 4, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

My entire life I have lived in Atlantic County, New Jersey. My parents lived in Atlantic City, and so do I. My father died two years ago and my mother passed away as an Atlantic County resident last week. I was an only child, and everything in my mothers Will was left to me, and I am executor. Do I need to probate her Will or open an Estate? Her only assets were our family home valued at $600,000 and her car.

In New Jersey, there are only few cases where there is no need to probate a Will. The two most common situations are 1) when a person dies with no individually held assets or 2) an individual dies with no assets whatsoever.

Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking: V.S.E.D.

Posted on Sat Apr 20, 2013, on Estate Planning

Decades ago, when I started my practice as an estate-planning attorney, there were rumblings about how modern medicine was changing the way people died. For most of human existence death came quickly from an illness or injury about which physicians could do nothing. Now, advances in medical knowledge allow us to battle death, giving us more time with our loved ones. But this same gift often makes the dying process a long, slow struggle against an incurable disease or untreatable injury. Sometimes, after a long struggle with illness and with full knowledge that death is certain and the future holds nothing but suffering, a person will decide to voluntarily stop eating and drinking (“VSED”), which hastens the inevitable end.

Every modern medical advance to make our lives better brings with it new challenges and problems we must address.

Camden County Will Challenges, Explained for the Non-Lawyer.

Posted on Thu Aug 9, 2012, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

Most people are honest, but some people are not.

As New Jersey Challenge Attorneys, we focus our litigation practice exclusively on Will Challenges, Will Contests and other estate disputes. Over our many years as Will Challenge Lawyers we have seen the dishonest things that some people will do; including forging wills and using undue influence on people to sign wills.

Time Limits, 4 months or 6 months: If you feel a Will Challenge need be made, act quickly or you may lose your chance for challenging the Will. If you are a New Jersey resident, you only have four months to file your petition or if you are a non-New Jersey resident you have only six months. If you delay, you are bared from filing your Will Challenge and a wrong might go undiscovered. It would be even better if you contact us prior to the Will being filed, as our Will Challenge Lawyers might be able to prevent the Will’s even be filed with the Surrogate.

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