nav menu

email Thomas Torzewski today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Thomas N. Torzewski, LLC

Morristown Estate Litigation Blog

New Jersey estate litigation: When an estate is insolvent

Closing out a loved one's estate is never an easy task. In New Jersey and elsewhere, the executor of an estate has the difficult job of paying off creditors before anything can be distributed to beneficiaries. Depending on the amount of debt left behind, this can take awhile and, if there is not any money or assets left, paying creditors may not be possible at all. This can lead to costly and time-consuming estate litigation.

When someone dies, it seems that a lot of people come out of the woodwork in order to try to collect money supposedly owed to them. The executor of the estate has to take the time to establish which claims have merit and should be paid. Sounds easy enough, but sometimes this can be a rather arduous task.

New Jersey estate litigation: The concern of undue influence

If you have a family member who unexpectedly changed his or her will or estate plan, it is okay to question why such modifications were made. It is a sad reality that there are those who are manipulated into changing these documents in order for the manipulator to benefit him or herself. Fortunately, those in New Jersey and elsewhere who find themselves facing such situations may pursue estate litigation efforts in order to contest any adjustments made due to undue influence.

Contesting a will or any other aspect of an estate plan is not something that has to wait until the primary passes on. This is something that family members of other loved one's can do at any time. Not only can requests be made that a will be voided or corrected, it may also be possible to seek compensation for any damages sustained by filing claims against the individual responsible for the wrongful changes.

New Jersey estate planning: The simple will

There are a lot of words that just do not seem to fit together in the same sentence. For example, estate planning and simple. Believe it or not, some New Jersey residents can create simple wills that provide all of the protections that they need for their estates.

While not everyone has a full estate plan prepared, quite a few people at least have wills. A simple will is appropriate for anyone with a modest estate that is not subject to federal estate taxes. The purpose of this type of will is simply to give instructions about how assets are to be distributed.

Legal grounds for contesting a will

According to an article in USA Today, many Americans have not adequately planned for the future. The article states that only about 36 percent of Americans have a will. Common reasons for why people delay making this document include not feeling as though it is necessary or not feeling like it is urgent to make one. 

All adults need a will, and they should update this document regularly. It helps prevent a lot of hardship upon the person's death, but another source of hardship can come if one beneficiary believes undue influence took place. This is legal grounds for contesting a will. There are certain grounds for this action, and people should be aware of their rights and legal recourses. 

New Jersey contested guardianships: Your parent deserves better

Watching your parents age can be difficult. Due to physical and mental decline, sometimes a parent needs to be placed in the care of a guardian. What if guardianship is granted and the individual to whom your parent is entrusted fails to do what is best for your mom or dad? Believe it or not, contested guardianships happen quite frequently in New Jersey and elsewhere. If you believe your parent deserves better than what he or she is getting, you can take steps to have the guardian's powers revoked.

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being the guardian of an adult. A person in this role is responsible for making sure the individual in his or her care has his or her daily needs met, that his or her financial affairs are tended to and that medical care and treatment decisions are made -- among a variety of other things. It is not small task.

New Jersey elder law: Revoking a power of attorney

Picking a person who is responsible for making important decisions for you can be difficult to do. You always hope that the individual chosen will make those decisions with your best interests in mind. Unfortunately, this does not always happen,  and it can leave you and your loved ones in a tough spot. Thankfully, once granted, powers of attorney may be revoked or changed with the assistance of a New Jersey elder law attorney.

It is sad that a person assigned powers of attorney would misuse the power granted, but it happens more than anyone would like to think. Legally, the agent is bound to act in the best interests of the principal. If this is not happening, the principal or any other parties who are concerned may report any suspected abuse, seek legal counsel in order to terminate the agent's authority and name someone else in a new power of attorney document.

Common causes for estate litigation

Estate planning is something all people need to consider, and they should consider it sooner than they think. There are various aspects of estate planning, including wills, letters of intent, guardianship designations and more. 

Although someone may have all these documents, it does not mean everything is in the clear. Problems can come up before or after a person's death that leads to estate litigation. By being aware of common causes, people can take action now instead of later to reduce the likelihood of needing to take a person's estate to court. 

When should you update your will?

Do you have a will? Have you updated it recently? Quick: think about the last time you looked over this important document and made any changes to it. Has it been years? Possibly decades?

Whatever the answer, you shouldn't be embarrassed. Even if it has been a long time since your last update, simply being aware of the need to update your will and then acting on that realization is all that matters. In this post, we want to talk about a few reasons why you should update your will, and to offer some advice for your will updates.