By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate & Probate Litigation Attorney

Here’s an interesting recent case I read. An estate administrator appealed to the Appellate Division from an assessment of inheritance taxes by the Department of the Treasury of the State of New Jersey.

The facts are that the decedent executed a will in which he devised and bequeathed his entire estate to his wife. She however predeceased him. Under the terms of the will, the entire estate was then to go to his son if his wife did not survive him.

At the age of 70 years, when he was allegedly senile and illiterate and less than a month after he hired a live in caretaker, the decedent executed a new will in which he bequeathed $100,000 in trust for the caretaker’s minor child, and $100,000 outright to her three children. The entire remainder of his Estate was bequeathed to his live in caretaker soon thereafter.

The son filed a Caveat with the Surrogate against the admission to probate of ‘any writing purporting to be the last will of the decedent. The caretaker filed an order to show cause, why the Last Will should not be probated, and letters testamentary granted to her. The director of the state division was of taxation was not made a party to the proceedings.

In Part 2, I will continue with this case and dive a little deeper into the details.

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