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originallawyer, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 879
Experience:  9+ years of experience in writing wills and probating estates in a variety of ways.
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My dad recently died in NJ. we dont trust his attorney

Customer Question

my dad recently died in NJ.
we dont trust his attorney / exector.
dad was in a home.
owned no assetts.
owed no bills or taxes.
he did leave a will to distribute cash and persional objects.
the attorney says HE MUST file a probate.
we feel he will bleed the cash there is left - to avoid paying to the family.
please help. thanks much.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  originallawyer replied 2 years ago.
Hello: Is the cash in a bank account in your dad's name? That could be the reason that the attorney is stating probate is required. If the funds are in an account in your dad's name, then a new account has to be opened in the estate's name and to do that you usually have to go through probate. It may also be a matter of the attorney wanting to make sure that nobody can accuse him of not following the will later on. The safest thing for him to do from a professional standpoint is probate the will. As an executor in New Jersey, he can be entitled to up to 5% of the estate, but beyond that it would require a Judge finding that unique circumstances allowed for more. Generally the unique circumstance is an unusually large estate. I would argue that he cannot double dip and take a lawyer fee AND executor fee. He can pick one or the other.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
are we are entitled to a copy of the Will or do we have to rely on my dad's attorney's word?????
Expert:  originallawyer replied 2 years ago.
You should be provided a copy of the will if you are a descendant or a beneficiary of the will. However, the will isn't going to tell you if there are bank accounts, necessarily.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
how many questions do we get for the initial fee ?
Expert:  originallawyer replied 2 years ago.
Hello again:I believe that Just Answer's rule is that you may ask one question and as many follow ups as you need to fully answer that first question, but if you need to ask a new question, you have to start a new thread.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well in the same vain - as the daughters (his only children - all adults) do not want to wait a year for probate - when he did have money in a bank and insurance policies - none of us want probate. we want to follow his instructions left in the will. can we file something ourselves to stop probate ? say it is hardship to delay the distribution....?
Expert:  originallawyer replied 2 years ago.
You could ask for a distribution to be made during probate, but it's not likely that probate will just be stopped when it's already been put into motion.Now, if there are insurance policies that had beneficiaries attached, those do not need to go through probate. They instead should be distributed to the beneficiaries. The funds should be released if a valid death certificate is produced to the insurance company.