Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

NJSA 3B:3-23 Proof of Execution Required in Contested Probate Action

3B:3-23. Proof of execution required in contested probate action
If an issue as to the execution of a will arises in a contested probate action, the testimony of at least one of the attesting witnesses, if within the State, competent and able to testify, is required. Other evidence is admissible as to the due execution of a will.

 Will/Trust Inheritance Contests

If you have evidence a Will was not prepared properly, the signer was incompetent, there was undue influence, you may be able to prevent the filing of the Will in probate if you immediately hire an attorney to file a Caveat to the Will.
A. Caveat
      Is a formal notice by someone to prevent the proving of a Will or the grant of administration of an Estate. The following is one of the NJ Court Rules dealing with a Caveat to Will
     Unless specifically authorized by order or judgment of the Superior Court, and then only in accordance with such order or judgment, the Surrogate's Court shall not act in any matter in which
(1) a caveat has been filed with it before the entry of its judgment;
(2) a doubt arises on the face of a will or a will has been lost or destroyed;
(3) the application is to admit to probate a writing intended as a will as defined by N.J.S.A. 3B:3-2(b) or N.J.S.A. 3B:3-3;
(4) the application is to appoint an administrator pendente lite or other limited administrator;
(5) a dispute arises before the Surrogate's Court as to any matter; or
(6) the Surrogate certifies the case to be of doubt or difficulty.
     If there is no dispute on the validity of the Will, sometimes the Executor does not do their job and you want to have the Executor removed and replaced.

Under New Jersey Law, the person selected as an executor of a Will have numerous legal responsibilities following the death of the person who signed the Will. Primarily, they have a duty to probate the Will, liquidate assets, pay bills and taxes, file all necessary court and tax returns, and then distribute the assets to beneficiaries
         Unfortunately, the Executor occasionally fails to timely carry out their duties. They may fail to timely file tax returns, fail to keep records, misappropriate assets or ignore instructions under the Will. 
       In this case the Executor __ has failed to comply with the Duties of Executor in Probate & Estate Administration to:
1. Conduct a thorough search of the decedent's personal papers and effects for any evidence which might point them in the direction of a potential asset, namely mineral rights;
2. Keep records of expenses
3. Timely Sell real estate
4 Timely File required inheritance tax returns and provide a copy to Kim
     It is unclear if the executor timely preformed the below duties:
Apply to Federal Tax ID #
Set up Estate Account at bank (pay all bills from estate account)
Pay Bills
Notice of Probate to Beneficiaries 
File notice of Probate with Surrogate 
File first Federal and State Income Tax 
Prepare Inheritance Tax Return and obtain Tax Waivers 
File waivers within 8 months upon receipt 
Prepares a accurate Informal Accounting
    In General. The executor's job is to (1) administer the estate--i.e., collect and manage assets, file tax returns and pay taxes and debts--and (2) distribute any assets or make any distributions of bequests, whether personal or charitable in nature, as the deceased directed (under the provisions of the Will

         Do you think you're entitled to money or might be entitled to money from an estate or trust?  Do you believe that someone is unfairly claiming money or property that is rightfully yours?  If so, and you are a prospective plaintiff or defendant, then you may need an attorney to protect your rights.

         These areas are extremely complex, and you should not attempt to reach a decision on whether or not to take action (and, if so what action to take) without the assistance of counsel.

Ken Vercammen’s office charges a $200 consult fee either in person or over the phone.

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