Klenk Law

Tag: Surrogate’s Court

New Jersey Will Contests

Posted on Mon Aug 13, 2012, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

Any number of reasons may cause a contest. Sometimes a will contest stems from the deceased’s discomfort with death and taxes, so issues that should have been addressed during lifetime are left unresolved and can only be settled in the Surrogate’s Court. Some Will contests are due to bad drafting by attorneys not trained and experienced in wills, trusts and estate planning. Sometimes dishonest actions by dishonest people cause will contests. As veteran Will Contest Attorneys we get to see the good, the bad and the ugly side of people. From Sussex County in the North, to Cape May County in the south, greed will often raise its ugly head when a person with assets is in a weakened state and susceptible to undue influence.

The parties to a will contest may vary. Our will contest lawyers have represented heirs, descendants, family members who were excluded or received reduced amounts in the Will and charities or other non-profits who the deceased promised a share of the estate. If charities are involved, the attorney general may also become a party to the contest.

Dying Without a Will in New Jersey

Posted on Mon Aug 6, 2012, on Intestacy, Dying Without a Will

Many New Jersey residents will die without a Will. Many will die unexpectedly before they can prepare a Will, but most people simply just don’t get around to writing a Will. If you die without a Will in New Jersey, you are said to die “Intestate”, or without testamentary documents. It is not true that if you die without a Will in New Jersey that your assets pass to the state. Instead, a set of rules decide who is in charge of your estate and to whom your assets pass.

Surrogate’s Court: If a New Jersey relative of yours dies without a Will (“Intestate”), and you wish to represent that person’s estate, you must get permission though the Surrogate’s Court. Each county has a Surrogate’s Court, so the first step is to determine which Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction over the estate. For example, if the deceased was a resident of Camden County but died in a Berks County hospital, it is the Camden County Surrogate’s Court that has jurisdiction over the case. At times a person becomes ill and moves just prior to death. For example, if a person lived her entire life in Gloucester County, but became ill and moved to her daughter’s house in Atlantic County two months before she died and she would have never moved but for the illness, the Gloucester County Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction over the estate.

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