Easton, PA asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey

Q: Which takes precedence in NJ? A last will and testament or a Life Estate Deed? Both were signed on same date in 2015.

My motherinlaw deeded her NJ house to Gerald (my husband) and his 1brother Eddy as a life estate. Her last Will and testament- dated the same day as her deed- states the house should be given to the Gerald, Ed AND the children of the other 2 brothers who passed away in 2012 and 2014. Does the Will override the deed? We hope my motherinlaw's Will overrides the deed so the grandkids can get their $ from the sale of her house.

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

A: The deed is for a life estate. In normal situations, the life estate is vested in the people until they die, and then after they pass the property goes to who is named in the will. The will takes over after the life estate is over. The property could be sold and divided if Gerald and Eddy agree.

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq. agrees with this answer

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