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J. Warren
J. Warren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1139
Experience:  Experience in estate planning including wills, trusts and succession planning.
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My sister passed away two years ago & my nephew was executor

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My sister passed away two years ago & my nephew was executor along with his father(my brother).My other brother & I have not heard word one about the estate.They live in New Jersey & I live in California. I would like to know how we could solve this problem.Phone calls & e-mails are not returned.We just want to know wat's going on.We were told early on that the state was checking things out.That was 2011.

Thank you very much. Jo Olivari XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 11 months ago.

Hello and Welcome! Thank you for allowing me to be of service to you. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) I will provide you with honest information and not necessarily to tell you might be hoping to hear.

My condolences on the loss of your sister and I am sorry you are dealing with this situation. A first step would be to contact the surrogate in the county in which your sister resided and had property to determine if a probate was opened to administer her estate. Here is a list of the complete 21 county Surrogates and contact information: www.judiciary.state.nj.us/directory/surrogateroster.pdf. Some of the counties maintain these records and they may be accessed on line.

If a probate was opened, you can obtain a copy of the documents submitted to probate to determine if you have any legal rights to the estate of your sister. If you are a named beneficiary and the executors have not provided you with accountings and information, you may petition the Surrogate to force an accounting. If the executors are not acting in good faith and not administering the estate properly, a petition for their removal is also possible.

Unfortunately, if you were not named as a beneficiary of her estate or are not entitled to a portion of her estate if she did not create a will, you would not be entitled to accountings or status reports.

If a probate was not opened and you believe you were named as beneficiary of her estate, you would need to petition the Surrogate to open a probate. This would require the assistance of a lawyer in the County in which your sister resided.

You may also wish to retain a local attorney to write a letter to the executors requesting a status update and report. Sometimes, folks will respond to a persuasive letter written by a lawyer to avoid further complications and potential liability down the road. Here is a link to the New Jersey State Bar Association Lawyer Referral information that provides contact information for various counties that can assist with putting you in contact with a local probate attorney to assist with persuading your brother and nephew to contact you regarding the status of your sister's estate: www.njsba.com/for-the-public/lawyer-referral-service.html


All my best & encouragement.

Please note that you are asked to rate my courtesy and professionalism, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. I only receive credit when rated 3 or higher. If for any reason you feel that a 2 or 1 rating is appropriate, please first give me the opportunity to address your concerns by clicking the "reply" or “continue conversation” tab.

All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.

 

J. Warren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1139
Experience: Experience in estate planning including wills, trusts and succession planning.
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