Father died in May 2010. Will never probated in NJ. Father had 3 natural children and 3 step-children. Step Childen are trying to probate will after a 2 year delay. Father's second wife was exectrix of will but had dementia and died 1 year later August 2011. Step-daughter sent a copy of the pour-over-will which states all things go into the trust. She has refused to show us the trust.
Elder Law Attorney
Well, if you are a beneficiary under the Trust then you have the right to see it, otherwise you likely have no rights with respect to same. An exception might be if you were going to challenge the Will or Trust then you may have additional rights. If that is the case you should consult with a local attorney for advice.
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Estate Planning Attorney
In New Jersey, there is no statute specifically stating that the trust should be provided. However, a court would grant you access to that information. Because of revisions to the probate statute, I would stress that you review this issue with competent counsel promptly. There is typically a four month statute of limitations for in-state residents to file an action to set aside a will. Based on the revisions to the statute, that rule may be applied to trusts as well. The fact that your step-sister is refusing to give you a copy of the trust should be a red flag. Good luck.
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Estate Planning Attorney
A Pour Over Will is used first to name a guardian for minor children. Second, it protects against intestacy in the event any assets have not been transferred into the trust at the death of the Trustor/Owner. Its function is to “pour” any assets left out of the trust into it so they are ultimately distributed according to the terms of the trust. Short of contesting the creation of the Trust by seeking judicial intervention, the only people that are entitled to look at the actual Trust are those named within the Trust. Be aware of any no contest language in the Pour Over Will before you consider instituting any litigation.
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