Ordinarily, when a New Jersey resident has an estate plan, the probate process will go smoothly and is more a matter of routine. However, there is no guarantee that an estate plan will prevent a will contest. Several factors could come into play after an individual passes away, which could be difficult to foresee.
For instance, the person chosen to be the executor of your loved one's estate could end up abusing the power given to him or her. He or she could fail to act in accordance with the wishes of the decedent or even be hiding assets from you and the other beneficiaries. In other cases, more than one will could turn up, or it could be difficult to determine what your loved one meant when giving instructions regarding the distribution of assets. Moreover, you could believe that another party unduly influenced your deceased family member when making out his or her will.
Regardless of the circumstances, a New Jersey estate planning attorney who handles will contests can review the situation and provide possible solutions. In some cases, it will not be necessary to go to court. Settlements can be negotiated and drafted without having to litigate the dispute.
Our estate administration page may be a good place to start if you are concerned that a will contest is going to be filed, or if you think you may need to file one. It is never easy to be the one who takes a stand. However, it may be what is needed to ensure that the wishes of your loved one are carried out, and that his or her beneficiaries receive their full inheritances.
Source: riceelderlaw.com, "Contested wills and estates," Accessed Aug. 22, 2014