Albany, NY asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey

Q: Dad died intestate, NJ, No assets, debts. Cousin,NY,wills $$.His 3 heirs named to collect.Can spouse claim it all?

NJ intestate laws support spouse keeping whole estate but will in NY specifies 1/3 of his portion to surviving spouse and 2 adult children as heirs of his estate. I live in NY and estranged mother in NJ. She wants me to authorize will administrators to send her entire amount so she doesn't have to split it. Help?? Is this legally my money if specifically named to get an equal distribution of 1/3 what he would have gotten if still alive? Being emotionally blackmailed by mother who suddenly needs this money even though she thought it would not be much until the other day when receipt and release papers were received.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jersey City, NJ

A: You need to speak with a probate attorney. Depending on how much money there is in the estate there may be money you are entitled to under the will. How ever without knowing your father's debts, and total assets there is no knowing if you would be able to collect anything if your mother chooses her elective share.

See below for more info on the elective share:

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