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New Jersey Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Family Law and Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: My father (71) owns a home in Nj. How to start getting his paperwork ready in case of death. He lives in NJ I live in Fl
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Feb 19, 2022

You should have your father call one of us lawyers to draft a will for him.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Banking for New Jersey on
Q: does a debtor need the POA's SSN, DOB, full name, Address, phone # and email to get information on the account?

i am trying to get information as a POA from an account set up by a prior POA for my grandmother. They are asking for all of my personal information to access her account stating "Banking laws require" it sounds odd since my information has nothing to do with her account.

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Feb 10, 2022

Personally, I agree with you that all of that information about YOU, the attorney in fact, should not be required. Some of it, maybe, but not all of it. HOWEVER, the sad fact is what the bankers are telling you is correct. They have to satisfy government regulatory requirements that mandate that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: In NJ, it is currently ok for a witness of a will to also be a beneficiary. Was this always the law in NJ?
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Jan 31, 2022

Generally in NJ it is ok for a beneficiary to be a witness to the will, however it is not the best practice to do so and could cause issues later.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: I would like to take my sister's name off my property deed and set it as joint tenancy with my son with right of

Survivorship. This is in New Jersey.

Do I have to do 2 quit deed claims?

Or it is just one filing?

My sister is alive and willing to sign.

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Jan 25, 2022

All that is needed is one deed with your sister named as the grantor (seller) and you and your son named as grantees (buyer). The deed can simply either name you and your son as joint tenants which has rights of survivorship or add a clause after the description that it is the intention of the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Does an executor of an estate receive any compensation for the time involved to clean out estate and handle all matters?

We Were informed that there may be a fee earned by the executor who has to do all of the physical work needed and expenses to clear out a home and handle legal fees.

Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh
answered on Jan 20, 2022

Is there a will and does the will make any mention of whether or not the executor is to be compensated or not compensated? If not, then you need to look at the law of the state to see what it says as to compensation. If the executor incurs out of pocket expenses, then yes, I expect the executor... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Single with children and no will

My partner and I are unmarried with two

minor children. With no will what would happen to the property in only his name?

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Jan 13, 2022

If your asking what will you get, in general a spouse will get only get an elective share as required by NJ law but only if you were living with your spouse at the time of his/her death and you were not subject to a post or prenuptial. Elective share generally ranges to about 1/3 of the persons... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Can an executor appoint someone else to handle the estate ?
Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Dec 20, 2021

Yes. This is frequently done when there is a complex estate and the executor will retain the assistance of an accountant of financial advisor. A well drafted will would have given the executor explicitly to do so.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Legal Malpractice and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Can the lawyer(s) of an estate representative be held accountable for allowing representative to breach fiduciary duty?

Taxes for a property of the estate has not been paid for over a year resulting in a tax sale being issued on the property. I have reached out to the counsel of the estate representative to inform them of the unpaid tax and tax sale notices multiple times and they have ignored my messages.... Read more »

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
answered on Dec 7, 2021

This is not a family law question and should be answered / directed to an estate lawyer to guide you on your rights in addressing the obligations of those responsible for administration of the estate.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: See below

My mother passed away a few days ago, in her will she left me my home (my home is in her name) in a trust. She listed me as trustee and sole beneficiary. Does mean the home will be transferred to me right away or does it take a long period of time for probate?

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
answered on Nov 29, 2021

An Attorney would need to review the will to properly answer your question. That being said generally when a will is transferred to a trust you may only be the beneificiary not necessarily the owner to have the property put in your name.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Is it a breach of fiduciary duty if an estate administrator quick sells two properties for less than they are worth?

My sister is currently Administratrix of my late mother’s estate and has already committed various breaches of fiduciary duty, including requesting the estate reimburse her for debt owed by the decedent she was liable to pay as power-of-attorney and attorney-in-fact to the decedent before her... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis
answered on Nov 17, 2021

You need to go over everything you just asked a question about with an attorney. I have seen a $400 home sell for $78,000 because of liens that couldn't be avoided so the new owner took on the liens. I have also see properties sell under market value because a hoarder lived in them, tenants... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: How can I go about getting an inventory of assets on my late mother? How can I find out if she owns any property?

I am the fiduciary for my late mothers estate. I have a Limited Letter of Administration for a lawsuit in regards to my mother (9/11). Now I getting calls from people asking if I am selling my mothers property, which is a house in the Bronx. I knew nothing of this until the calls. Now I need to... Read more »

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Nov 16, 2021

To begin contact a title agency and ask for a property search. As for personalty, check any checking accounts , review prior year tax returns, go through the mail, search pockets in clothes that are in her home, ask people who were familiar with her.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: I was the beneficiary to my sisters life insurance. My siblings want it included in the estate. It happened in nj

Family believes the life insurance should be part of the estate even thought it was left in my name snd not theirs.

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Oct 7, 2021

As a general rule, life insurance proceeds payable to a named beneficiary are NOT included in the decedent's probate estate. The law presumes that the decedent meant what she said when she named you as the sole life insurance beneficiary. It is a very tough presumption to overcome. Your... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: What concerns should I have when adding a senior parent to the deed of a home?

in the process of purchasing a new home. Mom is putting the down payment down, gifting to me. Condition is, she wants to be on the deed of the home so as to say, when she passes, her portion of the home will be willed to me and I will have majority ownership of the home. What issues might I run... Read more »

Morris Leo Greb
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Morris Leo Greb
answered on Oct 4, 2021

A very easy solution that will eliminate many concerns for both you and your mother. Instead of being placed on the deed. She is given a mortgage in the face amount of the money she is lending you to buy the home. The mortgage has a safe harbor rate of interest payable once yearly, just the day... Read more »

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