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.
With the high divorce rate in this county, the number of people in New Jersey and elsewhere who go on to marry again is pretty high. Blending families is a tough job for parents, and sometimes, no matter the efforts taken, there may be some bad blood between step siblings or even step parents. This, of course, can lead to estate litigation issues.
You recently lost a loved one and are going through the probate process in New Jersey. The person assigned as the personal representative of the estate is supposedly working away and getting things done, but you are not sure they are doing everything right. There are issues with assets, and you are worried that you and the other beneficiaries will end up with less than you should because of this one person's mistakes. Through the estate litigation process, you can take these issues to court.
When a loved one passes away, it is not uncommon for one or more family members to question the validity of the will. It happens far more often than people would think. When it does, it is tempting to contest the will. According to laws in New Jersey and elsewhere, this can only be done under very specific circumstances and through the estate litigation process.
Many adult children in New Jersey and elsewhere whose parents remarry later in life fail to get along with their stepparents. When their parent dies, they may question a lot of things regarding the handling of their estates. Sometimes, in such situations, estate litigation is inevitable.
Many New Jersey residents are lovers of art. Some, so much so, that they build amazing art collections over the course of their lives. Having an affluent art collection can be a wonderful thing, but it can also cause issues if what to do with the collection is not properly spelled out in an estate plan. In fact, such collections are often behind estate litigation cases.