Executor of a will

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Executor of a will

I am the executor of my recently deceased’s sister estate. She wrote her Will

when her children were minors, naming them as beneficiaries in a Trust. They

are adults now and she was remarried after she wrote the Will. Can I distribute her assets to her children or does her husband have any legal right to her assets that are solely in her name?

Asked on October 2, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In New Jersey (as in many states), a spouse cannot be disinherited. The spouse has a right to take an "elective share" of the estate no matter what the will says, equal to approximately 1/3 the value of the estate; so the second husband would be entitled to that portion of the estate. Consult with a probate attorney (the cost is an estate expense, which can be paid out of estate assets) for the husband's exact share and how to handle the distirbution.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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