Tag Archives: Wills

Timeliness of Filing a Challenge to the Probate of a Will and the Imposition of Sanctions for Frivolous Filings

Recently, in the Matter of the Estate of Lichtsztral v. Pizem, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Docket Nos. A-3162-10T3 and A-4615-10T3, the Court examined the issues of the timeliness of filing challenges to the probate of a Will and the imposition of sanctions for frivolous filings. In 1996, the decedent executed a Last Will and Testament.  Pursuant to the Will, a trust was to be established for the decedent’s wife which would allow for the use of the principal of the trust for his wife’s benefit.  Then, upon his wife’s death, the remainder of the trust was to be paid to the decedent’s daughter.

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Time frame for filing a Complaint against the probate of a Will

In the Matter of the Estate of Ehmer, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Docket No. A-5041-09T1, the Court addressed the time frame for filing a Complaint against the probate of a Will. In this matter, the decedent executed two Wills, one in 2001 and one in 2004. The primary beneficiaries of the first Will were the decedent’s child, grandchildren and her church. The latter will included only her child. The decedent died in July of 2008. In August 2008, the decedent’s child probated the 2004 Will in Ocean County. Unaware, the decedent’s grandchild attempted to probate the 2001 Will in Hudson County which was denied due to the Ocean County probate. In March 2009, the decedent’s grandchild (plaintiff) filed an action in Ocean County. Although not raised in her answer as a separate defense, the decedent’s child (defendant) moved for summary judgment on grounds that the Complaint was not timely filed pursuant to Rule 4:85-1. Rule 4:85-1 provides that a Complaint to see aside the probate of a Will must be filed within four (4) months after probate. However, the Court held that this Rule incorporates the provisions of Rule 4:50-1 which allows for a filing outside the … Continue reading

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