In re Trusts for Stefanidis-Perez is a consolidated case involving two trusts in which the plaintiff is the beneficiary and the defendant (plaintiff’s mother) is the trustee. The plaintiff-beneficiary moved for partial summary judgment seeking to compel an accounting and seeking the removal of the defendant-trustee, and the defendant-trustee cross-moved for summary judgment for advice.. read more →

In 2003, Michael Yahatz opened a bank account. The following year, the bank was acquired by Bank of America (“BOA”) and the account was converted to a money market account. In 2005, Mr. Yahatz signed a BOA signature card, which included an acknowledgement that the account would be governed by BOA’s deposit agreement. The deposit.. read more →

In Slack v. Wells Fargo Bank, the plaintiff and her brother held title to their late mother’s home as joint tenants with right of survivorship. In 2006, plaintiff’s brother opened a $100,000 line of credit with Wells Fargo Bank, secured by a mortgage on the property. The parties dispute whether plaintiff was aware of the.. read more →

In Taffaro v. Taffaro, the plaintiff sued his half-sister claiming that she removed decorations and flowers he had placed near their mother’s gravestone. Plaintiff had placed various items at the grave, including a Christmas wreath, a Halloween ghost, and cards, which were “frequently directed towards defendant” and referencing the parties’ previous dispute over their mother’s.. read more →

In In re Estate of DeFrank, 433 N.J. Super. 258 (App. Div. Nov. 15, 2013), a New Jersey appeals court reversed a trial court’s summary judgment dismissal of a case involving ownership of joint bank accounts. The Appellate Division reasoned that ownership turned on the intent of the decedent and the relationship of the parties,.. read more →

In Estate of William Strohmenger, 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2651 (App. Div. Oct. 31, 2013), the decedent left a handwritten will leaving his estate to his minor son, in trust, and nothing to his estranged wife. After his sister sought to admit the holographic will to probate, the estranged wife filed a caveat objecting.. 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 →