Thomas Devlin Begley III’s Answers

Thomas Devlin Begley III

Mount Laurel Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 13
  1. How does the will probation work in USA to prove the will is genuine?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    2. Joe Wayne Hendricks Jr.
    3. James P. Frederick
    4. Charles Adam Shultz
    4 lawyer answers

    The laws vary from state to state. In New Jersey, the Executor typically brings the original Will to the Surrogate's office with a certified copy of the death certificate. The Will is presumed to be valid and will be admitted to probate absent a caveat (protest) being filed by a family member of potential heir prior to the probate application. If the Will is admitted to probate, a notice of the probate has to be sent to the heirs at law as well as those mentioned in the Will. If there is a...

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  2. Question about will in the state of NJ? ....Over 2 weeks of someone passing and the lawyer contact no one regarding the will....

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Jill T Ojserkis
    2. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    3. Martin L Bearg
    4. James P. Frederick
    4 lawyer answers

    The lawyer represented the deceased person during his or her lifetime. It is the duty of the named Executor to contact the attorney regarding offering the Will for probate. The named Executor may use the attorney who drafted the Will but he or she is free to choose any person they want to represent or they can try to do it on their own. Certainly, it is a good idea for an attorney to reach out to the family if he or she knows of an individual's death. However, it is the responsibility of...

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  3. My mother died last and has two big properties. In her will, she didn't leave the properties to anybody.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    2. Celia R Reed
    3. Charles Adam Shultz
    3 lawyer answers

    If the property is not left to a particular individual, it becomes part of the residuary estate. If you are the sole residuary beneficiary, you may take ownership of the house in any event. If you are one of two or more beneficiaries, you may purchase the homes for their fair market value. This can be done typically by using the values of a licensed appraiser or prices which are agreed upon by the mutual consent of all the beneficiaries. Adjustments to the prices can be made for the values...

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  4. Can we contest a will that might have been changed by a brother who has Power of Attorney?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    2. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr
    3. Charles Adam Shultz
    3 lawyer answers

    A Will can only be contested during lifetime on the grounds that your mother was mentally incapacitated. Since you indicate otherwise, you can do so upon death if you have evidence of undue influence, duress, fraud, or other related grounds. Your brother cannot change the Will with a power of attorney though. In NJ, only a testator may execute his or her own Will.

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  5. Can I collect on my father's insurance policy, his girlfriend was listed as beneficary but never collected & she passed away.

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. E. Martin Davidoff
    2. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    3. L Christopher Arvin
    3 lawyer answers

    To follow up on Martin's point, it likely belongs to her estate because it vested in her when he died. However, the terms of the insurance contract prevail not the probate law. There may be a lapse provision that states that if she didn't claim it could go to the contingent beneficiary. If none is listed, it could be your father's estate.

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. I recd over 20K from a relative which is net (inheritance tax paid)....Can I give it to a sibling without them paying NJ taxes?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    2. Gary Bruce Garland
    3. Blake R Laurence
    4. Peter L. Klenk
    4 lawyer answers

    You are free to gift this money over to your sibling. It can be done in one of two ways. First, you can give annual exclusion gifts which are gifts up to an aggregate of $14,000 per person per year. In that scenario, you would spread your gifts out over two years. Second, you can give all of it now. $14,000 would be covered by the annual exclusion amount. The balance of $6,000 can be covered by reducing same from your lifetime exclusion for gifting which is currently $5,340,000.

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  7. Funeral expenses

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    3. Eric Jerome Gold
    3 lawyer answers

    I think the matter may be simpler. The funeral is done. The mother wanted to handle it. She can pay for it. This is not really a probate question at this point. Alot of people think "dead person = probate matter." At this point it's a a question of contract. The mother made a contract with the funeral home. She is liable under that contract to pay for it. You can inherit money, but you don't inherit debt. Mom wanted the rights; she gets the responsbility. She has absolutely right (...

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  8. My sister and I are co-administrators of fathers estate since 2005. My sister refuses to settle the estate. What can I do?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    2. Martin L Bearg
    3. John S. Palmer
    3 lawyer answers

    You need to file an action to have your sister removed as co-administrator on the grounds of self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duty. A fiduciary has an affirmative duty to administer the estate in a reasonable period of time and to conduct the affairs in a business like fashion. Rent free living for the nephew is self-dealing. Pocketing the rent from the other tenant is self-dealing. In filing the action to have your sister removed, she should be surcharged for the self-dealing. You...

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  9. Within 5 days of my mother's death, my sister filed a "Complaint for probate of will" in NJ. What papers should I have gotten?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    2. Gary Todd Dupler
    3. Lawrence A Friedman
    4. Martin L Bearg
    4 lawyer answers

    A Will can get filed in one of two manners. The first and most common is ex parte. That is when the Executor brings the Will into the Surrogate's office along with a certified copy of the death certificate and a filing fee. The Will can be filed at any time; however, it will not be admitted to probate until ten days after a testator's death. If it is admitted in this manner, no prior notice needs to be given to any party. However, a notice that the Will has been probated must be servied on...

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  10. I gave all the money to beneficiaries, but new lender is claiming for payment of an old debt. I was the trustee and executor

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Thomas Devlin Begley III
    1 lawyer answer

    In New Jersey, in order for an Executor to be held liable, a creditor must file a proof of claim with the Surrogate's office and serve a copy of same on the Executor no later than nine months after the Decedent's date of death. If notice is not given in this manner in the time prescribed, then an Executor cannot be held personally liable. Notwithstanding, any debts are subject to an ordinary statute of limitations which could be up to six years after the debt was due. However, any potential...

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