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New Jersey Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: My mother in law died over a year ago. Her estate was insolvent- she owed much more in debts than she had in assets.

My husband is her only heir. He and I declined to take on any assets (namely her home and car) and we declined to administer the estate. A debtor is now suing for foreclosure and we are receiving endless summonses because we are named as heirs/interested parties. Do we need to answer these summons... Read more »

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Sep 27, 2022

Whether or not you are willing to accept or be responsible for any interest in the state, you have an interest which needs to be addressed in the foreclosure action. You will continue to receive information. If you do nothing, at some pont in time, the plaintiff will seek the entry of a default in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Is the executor of a Real Estate Trust required to act quickly in selling the home? Should they notify us along the way?

Real Estate trust in NJ

What is the timeframe to sell? Should we be notified of the listing of home or price?

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Sep 23, 2022

The executor has time to sell the property when the executor feels it is the best time for the benefit of the Estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for New Jersey on
Q: If I claim my deceased father's property & he's in debt, will I become responsible? Or is it just taxable income?

If it is a debt will I become required to pay his debt if I am heir? If not a debt & income how can this effect my tax liability?

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Aug 9, 2022

I suggest you setup a consultation with a lawyer. You have more than a simple question here and a lot will depend on who you are in the will. For example are you executor or just a beneficiary. As for tax liability that should be asked to a CPA

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: How does an inmate get a general power of attorney signed over

The form already filled out. Can I just get two witnesses inside to sign or how would I get something notarized while incarcerated

Michael A. Smolensky
Michael A. Smolensky
answered on Aug 5, 2022

Logistics will require coordination with prison/jail security. Generally speaking if one is serious about the execution of a power of attorney or any other estate planning documents, then one ought to seriously retain an attorney to draft and oversee the execution of the instruments.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Landlord - Tenant and Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: If my older brother says he is power of attorney for my mother who has dementia doesn’t he have to prove that to me?

I live in my moms place in New Jersey and have been for 38 yrs now he’s trying to kick me out since he says he’s power of attorney!! If he isn’t poa can he legally do this to me ? He won’t show me the document that he’s power of attorney either

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Jul 13, 2022

Yes, he should show you proof of his authority as deputy under the power of attorney. If your mother is suffering from dementia and has been diagnosed, the power may not be valid if executed when you mother was not considered to be capable of executing legal documents. You should speak to an estate... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Health Care Law for New Jersey on
Q: Is there a simple template or fill-in last will and testament that I can get to fill out for a relative?
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
answered on Jul 12, 2022

That would be practicing law without a license. "Template" legal documents are rarely worth the paper they are printed on. If your friend cannot afford a private attorney, then that person needs to contact NJLS or law school legal clinics.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: A parent leaves furniture in a siblings house upon death furniture is not in will is that furniture legally theirs
Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Jul 7, 2022

If it were a gift, yes. If a bailment, perhaps. Speak to Estate attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for New Jersey on
Q: Question about family estate.

When I was 13 or so, my grandmother passed away. For perspective, I am 21 now. She left the family with an estate worth X amount. Seeing as though I was only 13, I was never contacted about anything regarding the estate and never knew anything about it. That being said, the estate took many years... Read more »

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
answered on Jul 5, 2022

The short answer is that the estate documents should have referenced the appointment of someone on your behalf since you were a minor and entitled to receipt of benefits under the estate plan. I dont know what complications took place causing an 8-year delay in winding up the estate but that may... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: In NJ, if there are two Memorandums of Tangible Personal Property, does the most recent override the first one?

One was handwritten around 2007, maybe earlier. The other one was written in 2014. The first list contains a necklace that was given to me, by my mother in 2014. My mother passed Dec, 2021. The other sister says it’s still part of the list and wants it back. I strongly disagree.

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Jun 26, 2022

Sounds like you have the item and it was on the later list so it sounds like you have the right to keep it. But a lawyer would need to review all the documents and the estate documents issued by the probate court to tell you anything with certainty.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: My sister passed away and I am the one who managed her trust. It is to be split between me and two brothers.

My sister passed away and I am the one who managed her trust (approximately $250K). It is to be split between me and two brothers. My question is, do I simply distribute the trust, a third each and have each of us 3 declare the inheritance and pay taxes at our year end taxes, or does the trust pay... Read more »

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
answered on Jun 24, 2022

You really need to retain an experienced Probate attorney, who will know how to handle the provisions of the trust. This is a legal question, not an accounting question. Only attorneys are licensed to give legal advice, not accountants. Another type of attorney you could consider is an Estate and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: if someone’s will says you recieve the money through the trust at age 21 but the trust now says 40

the trust didn’t always say 40. just lost the copy of the original but would i. e able to take it to court and get atleast some of

the money

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Jun 23, 2022

Looks Like something fishy is happening here looks like you should hire yourself a good lawyer to investigate and file a suit if necessary.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Hello-I was engaged to my fiance who has passed away. Do I have any legal rights at this point?

Hello-I was engaged to my fiance who has passed away. We shared his house for the past 2 years, but I was fully moving in this month. I had 1/2 of my belongings there. We were to be wed in September of this year. My son and I were in the process of moving in and had boxes everywhere. My name... Read more »

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
answered on Jun 9, 2022

Have you spoken with his children as to that text? I would find out if they are ok with you getting the house. I would also meet with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning, to review that text to see what steps you need to take at this point. Rest assured that his first question will be... Read more »

5 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for New Jersey on
Q: I am married and relocating to New Jersey. I plan to purchase a home in NJ...

I am married and relocating to NJ. I plan to purchase a home in NJ. I will be putting in approximately 90% of the funds to buy the home and my spouse only 10%. We're buying the home cash without a mortgage. Question 1: can we specify in the deed the respective ownership % of each party?... Read more »

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
answered on May 29, 2022

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. You can seek to obtain an experienced matrimonial attorney to prepare a post nuptial agreement that embodies the terms you mentioned. You should also consider the alternatives, which include taking a mortgage and putting down an equal amount or do not... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for New Jersey on
Q: What is the benefits or disadvantages of will compared to a trust

My mom is 90 years old and she has a will. I keep on telling her I think she should get a trust, I think it’s called a living trust. She has six children and everything is to be divided equally. Is a will sufficient

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on May 16, 2022

The honest answer is that a good Will is all the most people need. Why? A properly drafted living trust generally costs several times what a Will generally costs upfront and over your lifetime. Thus, the reason you will see most poor and middle class people use Wills and many of the Rich will... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Mom passed without a will and left two houses in dads name in PR, are they considered an asset of her estate?

Dad passed years ago but houses were not distributed or new deeds were not done so now that mom passed the houses are still in his name. Are they considered an asset of her estate? Would they need to be listed on her estate paperwork in the US? Or is US and PR kept separate? We will need to use... Read more »

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on May 3, 2022

Whether the assets are part of your mother's estate will depend on how title to the property was deemed to have passed at your father's death. If title passed by operation of law to your mother, the property is part of your mother's estate. It may be used for any lrgal purpose by the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: How do I sell a marital home in NJ without the spouse being in the country?

My wife and I are separating and she will be moving out of the country. What documents do I need to get her signed before she leaves so I can sell the house later? Is there a possibility to remove her name from the deed?

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Apr 9, 2022

It is very easy to do. Make an appointment with an attorney to prepare a deed which she signs along with several other documents required for transferring title. The attorney hold the documents in escrow pursuant to a written escrow agreement which calls for release upon sale of the property.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: I live by myself. Who do I put down as beneficiary on my life insurance and bank savings account?
Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Mar 21, 2022

Nobody can answer this question for you. This is entirely for you to decide.

Maybe think of who you consider to be your favorite person in the world, the one you would want to receive these benefits if you were to suffer an untimely death or, if there is no such person, a charity that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Can you be compensated for the care of an elderly individual after their passing while dividing inheritance?

My father died in 2020 I am next blood relative. He was named in his mother's will for his inheritance. I have been kept out of most of the happenings but understand that most of the inheritance was based on the sale of her home. The home sold and while I understand there were costs involved,... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Mar 20, 2022

Your situation is not simple and you really need to consult with an attorney for advice regarding your particular circumstances. If you do not assert your rights in a proper and timely fashion you will lose them.

As a general rule, no, family members are not entitled to be compensated out...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: I have 3 brothers 1 passed years ago he had 1 son. another brother just passed is my brothers son entitled to his estate

there was no will.

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Mar 11, 2022

We are not supposed to give you specific legal advise on this forum, for that you need to setup a consultation with a lawyer, but the law that answers your question is at 3B:5-1 thru 16. I hope this helps.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: My father recently passed away, I am his only son, he didn’t leave any sort a will, my step mother says it all hers

My father lives in New Jersey. I am my dads only son, I checked online and he owns 3 properties and they are under his and her name, I fear that she will give it all to her kids

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
answered on Feb 28, 2022

My suggestion is that you schedule a consultation with an estate law specialist (not simply a general practice lawyer who also handles estate work) to find out your rights.

Presuming your father passed away without a will and presuming that title to the 3 properties were in joint name with...
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