Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New Jersey

My sister is co-executor of my mother's estate. The will stipulates the estate is to be divided equally between her seven children. My sister is refusing to put the will in probate for "emotional reasons". In the meantime, she took my mother's car to her home (out of state) for her personal use, she is refusing to allow us to put my mother's home on the market, and she is having workmen come in and make repairs and changes to the house and writing checks from the estate to pay for them. How can I have her removed as executor so our family can proceed with probate of the will, sale of the house and distribution of assets? State is New Jersey.

Asked on 8/30/13, 9:11 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson
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If your mother was a resident of NJ, her will is required to be probated. You should engage services of an estates lawyer in the county where your mother resided at the time of her death, to file a petition requiring your sister to probate the will. If you have a copy of the will, there may be a way to probate the copy and seek to be appointed as the executor in her place because of her failure to act, but your lawyer will have to make that determination based on the will and reviewing the relevant law. The will controls how the estate is administered and divided, and the executor or any beneficiary does not have the right or authority to take any such actions on his or her own.

Don't let time pass, because as you see, your sister is already taking actions that will be difficult if not impossible to undo.

THIS RESPONSE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, SINCE I DO NOT HAVE ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT WOULD BE REQUIRED, AND I DO NOT HAVE A REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT WITH YOU.

* If the answers to your question confirm that you have a valid issue or worthwhile claim, your next step should almost always be to establish a dialog with a lawyer who can provide specific advice to you. Contact a lawyer in your county or township.

* Another reason for contacting a lawyer is that it is often impossible to give a good answer in the Internet Q&A format without having more information. The unique circumstances of your situation and things that you may not have thought to mention in your question may completely change the answer. If you want to be sure that you have a complete answer to your question and an understanding of what that answer means, establish a connection with a lawyer who practices in the area of your concern.

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8/31/13, 7:51 am
Robert Davies The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
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what she did is wrong, and i can stop it.

call me and I will assist,

Robert Davies, Attorney

201 820 3460

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9/05/13, 12:15 pm
Walter LeVine Walter D. LeVine, Esq.
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Filing for probate is mandatory, and if she didn't do it, it can be compelled. You need a strong estate litigation attorney, preferably located in or near the County of Mom's residence to immediately go into Court and get an Order compelling the probate, stopping the home improvements (unless necessary for safety reasons) and probably having the successor executor appointed in your sister's place.

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9/06/13, 9:55 am

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