father in law passed away last year leaving the house to the surviving sons with an extremely old will. We are having issues probating it with the not so helpful lawyer my father in law used and now we were told it needs to be probated in another state as thats where he lived and died. We now have no more insurance on the house and the insurance company wouldnt continue with out an owner on the house. Isnt there a way to get the home into an "Estate of" so that we can have a little more flexability in regards XXXXX XXXXX options?
State/Country relating to question: New Jersey
We have a lawyer who doesnt call us back and takes our money but doesnt keep us informed.
Has a probate not been opened anywhere yet?
In what state is the home?
The home is in NJ and he lived and passed away in Ma. The lawyers we have met with us, took a 1500 deposit and then dodged us for the better part of the year and now come back and tell us that it needs to be probated in Ma and then they will take it back and continue.
Thanks for that information. I will now be happy to answer your question. Please note that I cannot provide legal advice – I can only give you information concerning the legal issues raised by your question. I DO NOT receive credit for my work until you rate my answer as OK service” or higher. Please DO NOT RATE MY ANSWER as "Bad service" or "Poor service" (or the 2 stars on the left if you see stars), as such a rating leaves negative feedback for me personally. Instead, if you feel one of those ratings would be appropriate, please reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have, and I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.Your Answer:It doesn't matter if he lived in Ma. A probate must take place in NJ to transfer the NJ home under the terms of the will. A MA court does not have jurisdiction and authority to affect ownership of NJ real property.However, if he lived in MA it may well be that a probate there is required to transfer his MA property. If that is the case, you would typically start proceedings there and then an ancillary probate in NJ to deal with the NJ home.As soon as a probate is opened in NJ, a representative of the estate can be appointed (this person is usually referred to as an executor when there is a will; sometimes the term "personal representative" is also used).Once that representative is appointed (and this occurs near the very beginning of the probate process), then the representative can insure the home.It shouldn't have taken so long just to get proceedings started and any attorney should know that a probate is necessary in NJ to affect ownership of that property. As such, you should seriously consider firing your current attorney, getting your retainer back, and finding other counsel.As noted above, if you need clarification, please do let me know. And, again, I DO NOT receive credit for my work until you rate my answer as “OK service” or higher. Bonuses are always appreciated.If you later open a new question and would like my assistance, please begin the question with “To TMcJD….” This will ensure that only I answer the question. Thanks.
He owned NOTHING in Ma. Are we entitled to our money back from the current lawyer at this point since he has been our lawyer over a year. He even told us to look in the phone book for a lawyer in MA to probate and then pass back to them. We werent even asked for a representative. Should we have the current lawyer make my husband the representative and then we are eligible to get insurance back on the house? We are living in the house with our children by the way at this present time and have been for over 15 years.
You are entitled to receive a return of your unearned retainer. If they haven't started a probate, however (and don't even know where they should be filing probate), then I would be highly suspect of any claim that they've used/earned more than a small fraction of the original retainer.
The representative will be a person named in the will. If that person isn't named or if that person can no longer serve for any reason, then the children would all have equal rights to be appointed. They could agree among themselves who should serve in that capacity.
If you need additional clarification, please do let me know. And, again, I DO NOT receive credit for my work until you rate my answer as "OK service" or higher. Bonuses are always appreciated.If you later open a new question and would like my assistance, please begin the question with "To TMcJD...." This will ensure that only I answer the question. Thanks.
Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
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