New Jersey  |  Wills and Trusts

Legal Question

Asked on: 12/19/12, 9:05 am

My friend's father passed away 5 years ago. Hi s mother is in the hospital, very ill. His only sister lives in the mother's house, rent free, with her husband and 3 kids. The mother has a very old will, probably in a shoebox in the back of a closet. My friend is the only beneficiary, since his sister hadn't been born at the time.

My friend is concentrating on his sick mother right now, so I want to get some information on what will occur after she passes away, to help him be prepared.

If he and his sister do nothing, will someone eventually come calling? IRS, court, etc...? Should he try to get his hands on the physical will, if possible? And contact an attorney?

Surely his sister will try to contest the will, since she expects to live in the house forever, for free...yet the will leaves everything to my friend. Does she have any legal standing in this case? There certainly will be a family feud over this, and I want to know what first steps will be occuring if my friend does nothing, as well as what steps he should be taking to protect himself.

Thanks for your help!

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