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New Jersey Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: How long do I have to accept or reject an estate settlement?

My father passed away in the spring of 2019. The executors are finally sending myself and seven siblings the proposed settlement of his estate. I think I'm getting a bad deal. How long do I have to contest or challenge the settlement proposal?

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Apr 4, 2020

Talk with an attorney to go over the settlement. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation. It is better to have someone that deals with these situations on a daily basis give you an opinion. If you feel something isn't right you owe it to your self to get a second opinion.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: At which point does an executor take their payment(s)? At the beginning, during or end?

My uncle withdrew his entire fee and now the estate account is empty with property taxes, home insurance and utilities overdue and is looking into selling the house. Is my uncle or myself(beneficiary living in the home) responsible for the bills? Also, is there estate tax and inheritance tax due in... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Mar 27, 2020

The fee should not be taken until the estate is settled. The house sounds like it is going to need to be sold to make the estate whole. The estate tax is based on who takes what and the relationship to the deceased. You are better off talking to a probate attorney to get direct answers to your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Grandmother died without a will so I am entitled to my deceased mother's share (4 heirs total with my aunts & uncle).

The estate only consists of a house which will have to be sold. Can I just give my portion to my aunt who currently lives in the house and will be buying it from the estate?

Mr. Kenneth Albert Vercammen Esq.
Mr. Kenneth Albert Vercammen Esq. answered on Mar 22, 2020

A beni can disclaim an interest in estate.

Intestacy [Someone died and no Will or Will not done correct and not admitted to probate]

Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of his or her enforceable debts and funeral...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Father lives in NJ has a condo in PR owned free and clear he has a will and has disinherited (1) child from real estates

My father has (5) children in total (4) of which live outside PR He has properties in various places in the states and 1 condo owned free and clear in Puerto Rico.. His primary residence is and has always been outside of PR.. He has a will in place where he has given (3) of his children equal... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Mar 7, 2020

You need to have an attorney admitted in PR review the will. They are the only people that can tell you whether the will is going to do what you want it to.

Just because you say the will is set to do something, doesn't mean the will legally will stand up. My firm deals with wills all the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: I was named in my mother's will along with 4 siblings. Can I choose to give up my share of the inheritance to one of my

Sisters or will giving it up just put my share back in the "pot" to be distributed among all 4 siblings?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 6, 2020

If you disclaim your inheritance, your share will be distributed as if you had predeceased the decedent. There is no way for anybody to know what would happen to your share in that case without reviewing the will.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: My father sold a lot in NJ in 2004. He died in 2008. In 2016 the buyer found the lot was contaminated. They buyer is su

suing the estate saying liability carries over to the estate. The property was never in the estate as it was sold prior to his death. Can they sue for clean up? I understood the liability for my father stopped when he died. The buyer never did due diligence when buying the lot and cannot claim as... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 5, 2020

You will need to have a real estate attorney review the 2004 sale documents and the documentation regarding the alleged contamination to provide an opinion as to whether the buyer has a claim or not. The real estate attorney can then assist your probate attorney with either paying or negotiating... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: I’m designating my young niece as my beneficiary for my IRA. Do I mark her per stirpes if she has no children?

Do her parents or cousins get the money? What happens if I don't mark her per stirpes?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 27, 2020

She might have children before you die, so if it is your intent that it go to her children if she predeceases you, then, yes, you should mark per stirpes for her.

If you don't mark per stirpes for her, then the IRA will go to your contingent beneficiaries if she predeceases you, even if she...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
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... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Feb 16, 2020

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Is there any thing as a lawyer that handles stock

husband did not live will but left a lot of shares of stock. Need help trying to liquidate it.

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer answered on Feb 9, 2020

You need an attorney who is a Probate attorney. The right documents are obtained by an attorney and the stock is liquidated by a stock broker. That is all you require. A fair amount of work may be required depending on what you have already done with the Surrogate.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: If you go to law school and pass the bar without being sworn in are you a lawyer

if somebody goes to law school and earned the J.D, they took the bar exam which they passed But not sworn in Due to the criminal past they had does that make them a lawyer still? Or just a higher educated paralegal? Someone I know claimes they can still practice as a lawyer even though they... Read more »

Lazaro Cardenas
Lazaro Cardenas answered on Jan 27, 2020

The short answer is no.

In NJ you can search for the status of an attorney here:

https://ecourts.judiciary.state.nj.us/webe5/AttyPAWeb/pages/_rlvid.jsp.faces?_rap=captchaAction.execute&_rvip=/pages/home.jsp&currLocaleBanner=en

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Step parent dies after biological parent there is no will whom inherits all property of grown living children in NJ

Nephews made funeral arrangements no mention of grown step children in obituary cause out of state never would let step children in family home. Father had died 2 years prior with brain tumor cancer and had him change his will 2 weeks before passing Grown children let it go cause thought property... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Jan 22, 2020

You need to sit down with a probate attorney as soon as possible to go over the situation. A family tree is going to need to be created to go over all living heirs to figure who is entitled to what. The attorney will also need to review a copy of the will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: can I close on my moms home without a tax waiver. estate was left to her 3 children plus 28,500 goes to a class D

The 28,500 is for a person that purchased a co-op then moved out and left the house(co-op) to my mom. Years later asked for her deposit back. My mom changed her will to leave her the money. 2 questions. Can we close without a Tax Waiver and how much effort do we need to put into finding the... Read more »

Noel Rivers
Noel Rivers answered on Jan 21, 2020

The short answer is that the tax waiver will be required. Based on the fact that $28,500 is passing to a class D beneficiary, you cannot file an NJ Form L-9 – Affidavit for Real Property Tax Waiver. Instead, you must file an inheritance tax return and upon its completion, you will receive a tax... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: I inherited my dads house. Only his name is on deed. Can we sell and throw his wife out.? Owned home before marrief
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 19, 2020

You haven’t quite inherited it until it is re-titled in your name, as a practical matter. You should consult with a probate attorney about probating your dad’s estate so that the house title will be in your name.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: In NJ does a surviving spouse have any right to a house (owned prior to marriage) of deceased spouse who died intestate?

My father just passed away. He was married at the time of his death but not to my mother. My mother passed away 16 years ago and my father eventually remarried. My father had no will. He owned his house outright before he married his current wife. This is my childhood home that he and my birth... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 4, 2020

In New Jersey, if a person dies without a will (which is called dying "intestate") and leaves a surviving spouse plus children from a previous marriage, the surviving spouse inherits the first 25% of the decedent's intestate property -- as long as it is not less than $50,000 or more than $200,000... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Collections for New Jersey on
Q: What must be included in a creditor's claim letter against an estate?
Paul J. Riviere
Paul J. Riviere answered on Dec 19, 2019

As per N.J.S.A. 3B:22-4, Creditors of the decedent shall present their claims to the personal representative of the decedent’s estate:

-in writing, and

-under oath,

-specifying the amount claimed, and

-the particulars of the claim.

-within nine months from...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Hi there. My aunt just died intestate. No husband parents or children. Brother is bullying the estate!

My aunt just died interstate and my dad (with dementia)..is the last surviving sibling. There are 18 nieces and nephews. My brother is my dad‘s power of attorney and been depleting his funds for the last five years to live on and take himself out of pre-foreclosure. Now that my dad has an... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Nov 25, 2019

It sounds like you are on the right track as far as what needs to be done.

In short your brother does not automatically get to act as the administrator of the estate. He would have to be named the administrator by the Surrogate court.

You should sit down with an attorney to go...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Intellectual Property, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: What will I need to do to claim my fathers property in Luquillo, Puerto Rico?

I brought my father to living in New Jersey 3 years ago because of his declining health. My father never put the property under my name because he was always to ill to go back to PR. My father is now in a nursing home and we don't know what to do about the property. We don't want to lose the... Read more »

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer answered on Nov 10, 2019

You need to contact an attorney who is licensed there.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: My father passed and there are 4 total children, do ALL children have to agree before the house can be sold?
Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Nov 3, 2019

Responding from a New York perspective, if all four parties cannot agree, if your father passed and had a will, the world should be probated and the executor would then have the power to sell. If he did not have a well, and administrator could be appointed, preferably one of the four children, and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: My aunt passed away leaving a will with 3 heirs. One of the heirs is me. She also left a handwritten, dated, and signed

Letter with specific details of who should get what of her personal property. In that letter, she states that I can live in her house. My question is, if the house is sold, do I have a legal right to the money that was made from the sale of the house?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 1, 2019

If you are a life tenant the house cannot be sold without your signature. If it is sold without your signature then you can still live there for as long as you live. If your signature is requested you can justifiably insist on a portion of the proceeds equal to the value of your life estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: how do i get a copy of a settlement agreement for a case form 1987 in second court in connecticut. my brother just died

My brother died in Dec who has a settlement agreement with AIG and large sums due in 2020 and 2025. I dont know how the agreement was written up. I am the administrator for the estate.

Noel Rivers
Noel Rivers answered on Oct 15, 2019

As an administrator, you will have to go on a fact-finding mission to get the information you need. Sometimes the decedent will keep important records such as a settlement agreement in a file somewhere. I would recommend conducting a thorough search of his house to see if you can locate it. If you... Read more »

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