Trust documents are usually pretty iron clad. That being said, those who disagree with the terms of a trust may question the trust document by contesting it in a New Jersey court. If you wish to pursue estate litigation over a trust, you may need to prepare yourself for a long legal battle.
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.
For New Jersey residents who spend their lives carefully accumulating wealth with the intention of passing down an inheritance to loved ones, few things are more distressing than the thought of their family members fighting over those assets. Yet without proper planning, many families will encounter strife over an inheritance. In the worst outcomes, estate litigation can eat away at an inheritance until there is little left to divide between parties.
When you lose a loved one, the stress of closing out his or her estate can feel overwhelming. If no estate plan was put in place, you and any other surviving family members or friends of the deceased may find the probate process in New Jersey to be too much to handle. This is especially true if the lack of planning leads to estate litigation.
You were assigned to serve as the executor of a loved one's estate. You go about your business, getting everything ready for distribution to beneficiaries, when all of a sudden the claims start piling in against the estate. Estate litigation is unavoidable, but how will you pay for it? Whether the probate and estate administration process is being completed in New Jersey or elsewhere, you may be able to utilize estate assets to pay for litigation.
If a loved one passes away without a will or trust, it is all too common for family members to fight about what to do with assets. In New Jersey and elsewhere, one of the most significant assets people have when they die is their home. Changing the deed to a house is not necessarily difficult, but if beneficiaries are fighting over the property, estate litigation may be the only way to resolve the issue.
Losing a loved one is never easy. Getting through New Jersey's probate and estate administration process just makes everything more difficult. Estate plans are made and changed, often many times over. When certain decisions or adjustments are made that do not make sense to family members, some may choose to question the testator's mental capacity and challenge will or trust documents in court. In such cases, estate litigation may not be avoided.
Your loved one died. You are doing the best you can to grieve and move on. This individual left you and your family a trust with assets that are supposed to be, over time, distributed according to the trust plan. A trustee is in charge of doing this, but due to certain actions being taken, you do not believe him or her to be trustworthy. In New Jersey, estate litigation may be the only way to resolve the matter.
A few months ago, this column addressed the massive financial award granted in the Max Hopper estate case. This was the highest amount awarded in an estate litigation case for the year 2017 and the ninth highest estate litigation payout granted in United States history. The defendant in the case continued to fight the matter, and it seems that a financial settlement has finally been reached between all parties. How is this relevant to New Jersey residents? It shows that estate litigation can take time but has its benefits.
Glen Campbell, the country music star who is a legend in his own right, died in Aug. 2017. He left behind a massive estate, valued at around $50 million. His wife is said to be at least one of the beneficiaries of the estate, while three people -- the singer's children from a previous marriage -- were not included in his will. This has led to estate litigation and claims that Campbell's wife is to blame for their lack of inheritance. Such claims are fairly common, whether one is closing out an estate in New Jersey or elsewhere.