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Estate litigation: Family fighting over estate worth millions

| Jan 31, 2020 | Elder Law |

A family in another state is in the midst of a legal battle over the fate of a loved one’s estate. According to reports, the estate is worth millions, and several people have since come out of the woodwork, trying to collect their share. Sadly, this happens all too often, in New Jersey and elsewhere, when significant sums of money are involved. Estate litigation is not an easy thing to get through, but with the right help, it is possible to ensure the estate is passed on to the right people.

In 2016, a man was arrested and placed in a jail cell. While there, guards ignored his frequent requests for water. Guards later found him dead in his cell. This prompted his estate to file a lawsuit against the jail and its health services. Ultimately, the estate was awarded just shy of $7 million for the whole ordeal.

Since the settlement was granted, seven people have emerged, claiming to be the deceased’s children. They want to be included as beneficiaries of the estate. How much each is asking for is unknown. It is also unclear if these individuals are, in fact, the offspring of the deceased. Only time will tell how this case turns out.

If a person thinks he or she should be an included beneficiary of an estate and has evidence to support that line of thought, it may be possible to successfully petition the court to be involved in the distribution process. Without the necessary evidence, in the state of New Jersey, an estate will be administered according to any estate planning documents — if they exist — or according to a judge. Whether one is fighting for a share of an estate or fighting to protect it, an experienced estate litigation attorney can help one seek the best possible outcome.