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New Jersey Probate and Estate Administration Lawyers Resolving Inheritance Conflicts and Disputes

While one of the goals of a last will and testament is to help avoid future inheritance fights, even the most thought-out will cannot guarantee that conflicts and disputes won’t arise after a loved one has passed away. Whether a family member has been completely cut out of an inheritance, or a portion of an estate is left to an unexpected heir, a legal action may be necessary to determine whether the will is valid. This type of action, which is known as a will contest, can present significant challenges for all parties involved. A will contest can substantially delay the distribution of property and even deplete assets of the estate, not to mention take the emotional toll that can occur.

The estate planning attorneys at Einhorn Harris have decades of collective experience litigating will contests and other estate administration disputes throughout the State of New Jersey. We draw upon our in-depth knowledge of what the law requires and how the probate process operates to achieve fair and efficient outcomes for our client.

Will Contests in New Jersey

In New Jersey, you must have “legal standing” to contest a will. Persons with standing generally include the individuals and groups who are named in the will and those persons who would inherit from the deceased in the event that no will existed – the heirs at law. Additionally, any person who was named in a prior will would also have standing where the will introduced into probate eliminates or reduces the assets that were to be distributed to the person under the prior document.
In New Jersey, will challenges are often based upon an assertion that the decedent lacked the mental capacity to execute or modify a will. This type of challenge typically involves a claim that the decedent was suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or another illness or condition that prevented him or her from fully comprehending their assets and the impact of the actions taken.

Another common basis for contesting the validity of a will is to assert that the decedent was subject to “undue influence” in making or re-writing the will. In essence, an undue influence claim centers around the assertion that the decedent was unduly influenced by another individual in a confidential relationship with the decedent to the extent that the will actually reflect the wishes of the other individual, not the decedent.

The Importance of an Estate Administration and Estate Planning Attorney

Proving or defending against either ground can be very difficult and is best handled by a team of estate attorneys with extensive experience in this challenging area of the law. Our New Jersey probate and estate administration lawyers are seasoned professionals with extensive experience representing clients who are seeking to challenge wills as well as persons who are defending against such challenges.

If you need representation in connection with a will contest or have questions about the probate or estate administration services offered at our firm, we invite you to contact our Wills, Trusts and Estates Group today by calling 973-627-7300.

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