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Katie's mother passed, she is disabled, she was caregiver for 10 years, the WILL is 20 years old, the family asked her to leave

Hackensack, NJ |

Katie's sister in charge of finance said that Katie will get her equal third share of the 2 family house. The 20 year old N.J. Will was witnessed by her sisters deceased husband. Her brother is mentioned in the will, which states all three siblings get equal share. The brother and sister have homes and large incomes. Katie who faithfully took care of both father and mother till they died, needs more than a third, she needs a life estate. Katie has diagnosed Chronic Fatigue. Can Katie contest the WILL?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Generally, the Will is going to control here. If it was executed and witnessed within the past 20 years, it is probably a "self-proving" will. The personal representative nominated in the will is probably going to have control over the Estate. However, in many states, the Estate and the beneficiaries can essentially alter the distribution from the Estate with a special contract. You should consult with an Elder Law attorney with Probate experience in the state where your mother was living when she passed away. This sounds like a bit of an emergency, at least for Katie, so please do not wait to seek good legal advice.

Nothing in this posting is intended to, or does it create an attorney-client relationship. Further, it is NOT legal advice, it is for informational purposes only. If you wish advice specific to your situation, you may contact me independently and ask for a consultation.


Probably need. Inheritance is not based on need. It is based on the testator's wishes. Katie can consult with a probate attorney to confirm this.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


If the will was properly prepared and signed and the parent had the ability to understand what was being done and was not coerced, it is unlikely that Katie would win a will contest. She should consult an attorney to review the will and advise her of her rights. Maybe her siblings would allow her to remain in the home for a period of time. She may also have a claim against the estate for the value of the care she gave her parents. Again an attorney representing her needs all of the facts in order to advise her.

The above answer is not to be considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should consult your attorney for specific legal advice as to your individual situation.



excellent answer, thanks again.

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