How can I assure that I will receive items that were willed to me?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I assure that I will receive items that were willed to me?

My mother passed 10 years ago and I never saw the Will. My sister was the


Asked on September 17, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the will has already gone through probate and probate is over, it's too late to take action: you have file objections to how an executor is managing an estate and distributing assets before probate is concluded. Once probate is done, the estate is dissolved and you can't challenge what happened. If the estate was never probated or probate is still pending, you may be able to challenge what she has done and, in the course of that challenge, see the will. Ideally, contact a probate attorney for help. If i's not economically worthwhile to get a lawyer (e.g. the value of what you hope to inherit doesn't support or justify the cost of a lawyer, you can do this yourself, though expect it to be difficult: probate court (or surrogate's court, as its known in NJ) is far more complex than, say, small claims court. You can contact the court and/or go to its website for information and forms--here is a link, for example, to the Essex County Surrogate's Court website, and all NJ counties should have a similar court and website:

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 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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