My cousin died and owned property in both NJ and FL. The beneficiary/executor of his will has disclaimed the property in Florida. My cousin wrote his brother and his immediate family out of his will and now that his significant other has disclaimed the property there are 7 of us named in the will who can claim. Do we need a NJ attorney or a FL attorney since the property is located in Florida although he was a NJ resident and his Will was drafted in NJ
1 Answer from Attorneys
YOU HAVE INDICATED THE NON-FAMILY RELATIVES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN OUT OF THE WILL, SO THEY, BY THE WILL, CANNOT INHERIT WHEN THE WILL BENEFICIARY DISCLAIMED THE PROPERTY. ONLY PEOPLE NAMED IN THE WILL CAN INHERIT IF THERE IS A DISCLAIMER.
SINCE THERE IS NO VALID WAY THEY CAN INHERIT THROUGH THE WILL, SOMEONE MUST APPEAR IN FLORIDA TO CONDUCT A PROBATE PROCEEDING IN FLORIDA AND CLAIM THE PROPERTY AS SURVIVING FAMILY MEMBERS. THIS CAN BE EXPENSIVE AS BONDS NEED TO OBTAINED FOR INTESTATE (WHERE THERE IS NO WILL).
IF THERE ARE CLOSER RELATIVES THAN COUSINS, LIKE PARENTS, SIBLINGS, NIECES OR NEPHEWS, THEY HAVE PARAMOUNT RIGHTS TO INHERIT THAN THE COUSINS.
BETTER SUGGESTION IS TO HAVE THE EXECUTOR IN NJ FILE TO PROBATE THE WILL IN FLORIDA, LET THE SIGNIFICANT OTHER TAKE IT AND GIFT IT TO THE COUSINS. THIS WOULD SAVE SIGNIFICANT COSTS AND FEES IN FLORIDA, SIMPLIFY THE HANDLING OF THE PROPERTY AND IT WOULD WIND UP BEING OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD INHERIT BY THE DISCLAIMER ANYWAY .