Can i contest my father's will that was rewritten 4 months before he passed away in 2009 in new jersey?

I believe that my one brother manipulated my father into giving him $100,000 and the rest of his estate was divvied up by us, his other 3 siblings. I believe that my brother, J, who refuses to talk to any of us, manipulated my father into doing exactly what he wanted. That was 4 months before he passed on and he was 98 years old. "J" had lived most of his life in CA (25 years). My other brother at the time, did not want to contest the will, as he had back payments and he was out of work for a long time and needed the money. "j" has taken all the photo albums and I would like some of those back. He also has both flags as both my parents were in the Army in WWII. We are very upset about this and I would like to put it to "rest". I would like some of the family items

Verona, NJ -

Attorney Answers (3)

Martin L Bearg

Martin L Bearg

Estate Planning Attorney - Livingston, NJ
Answered

My colleague, Ms. Blaustein is correct. If your father died in 20089, and you were sent the Notice of Probate required by the Rules of Court, you then had the opportunity to file a caveat or protest to the probate of your father's Will. The Statute of Limitations has long passed.

Your facts are a little unclear, it sounds as if dad had lived in CA, but was moved to NJ when he was about 92, and died in NJ. If this was the case, and a new will was drafted while your father was in your brother's "custody" and "care", those facts alone would, if brought in a timely fashion, cause a court to compel your brother, not you, to prove that he did not pay and influence the attorney, or unduly influence your father to give your brother a larger share of your father's estate. Having sat back, the matter is no doubt closed, other than for having your brother provide a formal accounting.

An accounting looks at the will to determine what it says and how your brother handled the administration of the estate, but does NOT allow you to contest the validity of the will.

Sorry for your heartache and dispute with your brother. I see it more often than I care to admit. These disputes destroy families.

The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.
Donna R Blaustein

Donna R Blaustein

Probate Attorney - Aventura, FL
Answered

There are too many questions to really advise you. If an estate was opened you are probably too late to contest it. Take all of the documents (will, death certificate, etc) to an attorney to discuss whether it is too late for you to do anything or if you have any options.

The above answer is not to be considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should consult... more
Raymond Andrew Grimes

Raymond Andrew Grimes

Personal Injury Lawyer - Neshanic Station, NJ
Answered

You can contest but you need to have facts and documents to prove it. It is not what you know, but what you can prove.

Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.... more

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