Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New Jersey

My father passed away last September. I am a child from a former marriage. Am I entitled to a copy of his will or any part of his estate.

Asked on 8/11/10, 8:14 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Jonathan Chester Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.

As a child, by law, you are entitled to a copy of his will and Notice of Probate.

Although you are not entitled to any part of his estate if he had a will [i.e. he could disinherit you] if he died without a will, then you would be entitled to part of his estate as an intestate heir.

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Answered on 8/16/10, 8:41 am

Steven Tarta Law Office of Steven W. Tarta

If your father had a will, when it is submitted to Probate you. by N.J. statute, will receive a Notice of Probate. Receipt of the Notice of Probate means you are mentioned somewhere in the will and you can go to the county Surrogate Office and obtain a copy of the will to proceed further. Alternatively, if you do not receive the Notice of Probate, then you are not mentioned n the will as a beneficiary.,

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Answered on 8/16/10, 9:40 am
Walter LeVine Walter D. LeVine, Esq.

Since you received nothing, I suggest you call the Surrogate of the County where your father resided when he died. The Surrogate will tell you if a Will has been probated or if the estate is in Administration (probate where there is no Will). If there is a Will, you can get a copy for a nominal fee, or go to the Surrogate's office and see it for free. As a natural heir you should have been notified if anything was done. It is possible you were disinherited or there was no probate estate.

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Answered on 8/17/10, 10:16 am

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