Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

Recently my ex-mother in -law died (we remained extremely close). She told me prior to her death that she left me money. From talking to her, I came to believe I was the beneficiary on a bank account. After the funeral, my son told me Eric (her son and executor) found a bank account he did not know about before her death , and that I was the beneficiary of it. He did not feel I should get anything. He and my ex-husband argued about this in front of my son. My son came to me. She died Jan 28. I am told it is over $20,000, money I could really use, being out of work for over 8 months. Her death occured in Bergen County, NJ and I live in PA. What do I do?

Asked on 2/28/12, 8:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Your former mother-in-law's estate will be probated in New Jersey as that is her place of residence.

Her son's wishes about you getting nothing are not relevant. The assets will pass as per your mother-in-law's will or via New Jersey intestacy law.

I don't know exactly how the New Jersey account was set up but if it had a pay on death designation, it might be a non-probate asset and will be turned over to you free of any claims of creditors.

My advice would be to get a New Jersey probate attorney. If an estate has been probated for your mother-in-law, your attorney can contact the personal representative, Eric.

In the alternative, re-post your question and direct it to New Jersey probate attorneys, not PA attorneys. PA has nothing to do with this.

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Answered on 2/29/12, 10:33 am

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