No parent in New Jersey or elsewhere wants to bury his or her child; unfortunately, it happens all too often. In another state, a woman lost her son after he died at a mental health hospital. His loss of life resulted in a civil rights lawsuit being filed and a $1.4 million settlement being issued to his estate. This has sparked estate litigation between his parents.
According to reports, Brandon Johnson, at the age of 20, was found wandering outside the family home, speaking nonsensically. Police picked him up and transported him to the county mental health facility. After his arrival, he was inspected by doctors and nurses, all of whom claimed he was in good health. Three days into his detention, he died from a blood clot.
Johnson’s parents never married. His mother, Ms. Johnson, claims that she was Brandon’s primary provider. His father allegedly took no interest in him until he was almost 18. Yet, the deceased’s father is seeking his share of the estate. As the young adult died without a will, both parents are technically considered the beneficiaries — regardless of their family history.
New Jersey residents whose adult children die without wills or other estate planning documents in place may find themselves in the same situation as Ms. Johnson — fighting for fair distribution of estate assets. Estate litigation may not be avoidable if family members end up fighting over who should get what. An experienced attorney can assist those who are dealing with estate litigation matters in finding swift and fair resolution.