Has a probate not been opened anywhere yet?
In what state is the home?
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.
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.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).