Tampa, FL asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey

Q: My grandmother died, had a revised Will created years ago, but nobody can find a copy yet. What happens with her estate?

When a Will is created, is it filed anywhere so heirs can get a copy? There is a prior Will that her son took her to have drawn up, which he likely still has a copy of. Then her son took all of her life savings, putting her in financial ruin. So, she changed her Will after that with a different attorney because she no longer wanted him to inherit her house, too. She wanted her grandchildren to get it.

Nobody who knew at the time seems to remember the attorney's name, where her office was exactly, what year it was, or if she is even still in business. A relative who drove her there thinks they remember the town where the attorney was, but not the address/location. They've searched her house, but still cannot find the Will. They searched the internet for the attorney, but nobody they find rings a bell. Is there any way to find a copy of the Will somewhere out there?

How soon does probate have to start after death in NJ? How long do we have to try to find the Will?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Morris Leo Greb
Morris Leo Greb
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockaway, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: A will is necessary for probate in order for an individual named as executor to qualify. Other wise the decedent is considered to have passed intestate. The Court will appoint an administrator. A bond, in an amount set by the Surrogate must be obtained. The Estate is then distributed in the manner set by New Jersey statutes.

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