The defendant, William Lewis, was the administrator of his deceased mother’s estate. In connection with the administration of the estate, and related litigation with his brother regarding the estate, the defendant was represented by Eileen Siegeltuch, an attorney at Cureton Clark, P.C. The Cureton firm sent him an invoice for over $68,000 in legal fees.. read more →

In 1992, Ann Mark created two irrevocable trusts for the benefit of her three children. In 1997, Jared Scharf became the successor trustee for the trusts, and used some of those assets to form a separate trust for each of Ms. Mark’s three children. Each of the trusts stated that they were governed by New.. read more →

Linda Hall was the executrix of her mother’s estate. Hall had initially had a 2005 will admitted to probate. When Hall’s sister, Carol Polak-Reid (“Reid”) filed a complaint alleging that their mother had executed another will in 2011, Hall represented that she had attempted to have the 2011 will admitted, but the surrogate had rejected.. read more →

A court in Connecticut ruled that the administrator of an estate lacked standing to appeal the denial of an application for Medicaid benefits because no appeal of the denial was filed before the decedent died.  Freese v. Department of Social Services (Conn. Super. Ct., No. CV14-6047417S, June 1, 2015). Plaintiff, Kathleen Freese, claimed that the defendant, Department.. read more →

The New Jersey appeals court reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a legal malpractice action brought by beneficiaries of an estate against the attorney representing the estate, holding that estate attorneys may owe a duty of care to non-clients when the attorneys know, or should know, that non-clients will rely on the attorneys’ representations. Higgins.. read more →

Following the decedent’s death, one of his three children applied for summary administration of the estate pursuant to N.J.S.A. 3B:10-4, which governs intestate estates that do not exceed $10,000. More than two years later, the estranged wife of one of the decedent’s children filed an action for probate, claiming that there was a 2005 will.. read more →

A Chancery Court judge determined that the administrator of an insolvent estate in New Jersey must first exhaust all efforts to satisfy creditors from probate assets before the attachment of non-probate assets should be considered. Matter of the Estate of Turco, Chancery Div., Probate Part-Essex County (Koprowski, J.S.C., July 22, 2013) Jerry Turco died testate.. read more →

What is Probate? “Probate” is the name of the process which permits an Executor to transfer assets as directed by a deceased person, or decedent, in his or her Last Will and Testament to recipients, or beneficiaries, according to the terms of the Will. The deceased person who made the Will is called the “testator.”.. read more →

THE MULTIPLE-PARTY DEPOSIT ACCOUNT ACT Bank accounts are often established in the name of more than one party. Questions may arise regarding the rights of ownership of these accounts, during the lifetime of the owners or after an owner’s death. In New Jersey, joint accounts (using either an “and” or an “or” designation), and payable-on-death.. read more →

Where an original last will and testament is lost or cannot be found upon the testator’s death, a photocopy of that will may be admitted to probate. In determining whether such relief is appropriate, “the key issue is whether the testator had the intent to revoke the missing will.” In re Estate of Schenecker, 2011.. read more →

Two types of taxes can be assessed against property that passes to your heirs after you die. They are: estate taxes and inheritance taxes. Estate taxes are further divided into two types, depending upon the taxing authority imposing the tax. Federal estate taxes are imposed by the U.S. government, while state estate taxes are imposed.. read more →

2009 was an exciting year of litigation in the elder and disability law arena, producing a bumper crop of significant decisions from the administrative forum, as well as state and federal courts. In stark contrast with years past, New Jersey lawyers are now in the forefront of the effort to expand legal protections to greater.. read more →

Did you know that, under New Jersey law, you are entitled to receive compensation for services rendered as a fiduciary, such as an Executor, Administrator, Trustee, Guardian, Agent under a Power of Attorney and Conservator? Well, you are. Any compensation paid to a fiduciary in New Jersey is called a “commission”.  The amount of any.. read more →

Gov. Jon Corzine recently signed into law new legislation that requires fiduciaries of estates for developmentally disabled individuals to post bonds in Superior Court as a safeguard against theft and other improper conduct. The bill, S-550 , sponsored by Sen. Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, goes into effect in 60 days. S-550 requires that the amount of.. read more →