Challenging A Will In New Jersey
Dec. 17, 2022
A caveat is a legal document that is filed with the New Jersey Superior Court to challenge the probate of a will or to request that the court supervise the administration of an estate.
The Superior Court in New Jersey has jurisdiction over probate matters, including the probate of wills and the administration of estates. When a person dies and leaves a will, the will must be probated by the court in order for the terms of the will to be carried out.
If you have concerns about the validity of a will or the administration of an estate, you can file a caveat with the Superior Court to challenge the probate of the will or to request that the court supervise the administration of the estate.
To file a caveat with the Superior Court in New Jersey, you will need to complete a caveat form and pay a filing fee. The caveat form requires information about the estate, including the name of the deceased person, the name of the executor, and the date of death. You will also need to provide a brief statement outlining the grounds for your caveat, such as your concerns about the validity of the will or the administration of the estate.
If you believe that a will that has been probated in New Jersey Surrogate Court is invalid or that it does not accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased person, you may be able to challenge the will by filing a will contest. A will contest is a legal action that is used to dispute the validity of a will.
To contest a will in New Jersey Surrogate Court, you will need to follow these steps:
Determine whether you have standing to contest the will. In order to contest a will in New Jersey, you must be an "interested party." This means that you must have a direct and personal stake in the outcome of the will contest, such as being an heir or a beneficiary of the will.
Gather evidence to support your claim that the will is invalid. This may include witness testimony, documents, or other evidence that shows that the will was not properly executed or that the deceased person was not of sound mind when they signed the will.
File a complaint with the Surrogate Court. To contest a will in New Jersey, you will need to file a complaint with the Surrogate Court in the county where the deceased person lived. The complaint should outline the grounds for your will contest and provide supporting evidence.
Serve the complaint on the parties named in the will. After you have filed the complaint, you will need to serve a copy of the complaint on the parties named in the will, including the executor and any beneficiaries.
Attend the hearing. The Surrogate Court will hold a hearing to determine the validity of the will. You will need to attend the hearing and present your evidence and arguments to the court.
It is important to note that will contests can be complex and time-consuming legal actions. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney who is experienced in estate law and probate matters to help you navigate the process of contesting a will in New Jersey.