On November 7, 2018, the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court ruled in favor of a descendant’s only child and against the descendant’s siblings in an inheritance matter. The descendant’s siblings sought to disinherit the child using an “equitable adoption theory.” The court’s decision affirmed the primacy of statutory law over judicial fiat in property succession law. The matter also brought to light the importance of making a Last Will and Testament in order to avoid distribution of assets to undesired beneficiaries. Continue reading “New Jersey Court Rejects “Equitable Adoption” Argument in Inheritance Case”
Creating a comprehensive estate plan is an important part of planning for your future and the future needs of your loved ones. In addition to establishing a comprehensive estate plan, it is important to discuss this inheritance plan with your beneficiaries so that he or she may prepare for their designated role. Continue reading “Disclaiming an Inheritance May Have Benefits”
An in terrorem is a Latin word meaning “in fear”. It refers to a provision within a Decedent’s Will to disinherit a beneficiary if he or she challenges the Will in any way. Instead of a beneficiary receiving what he or she may have been entitled to within the Will, the individual will receive nothing, due to challenging the Will. He or she will essentially have forfeited any inheritance they were entitled to. This provision is intended to dissuade a person from contesting a Decedent’s Will. Further, an in terrorem provision is strictly construed by the courts.