How to remove or become a substituted executrix?

I apologize if my request for help appears twice for I thought after I click on your orange button I mistakenly thought it was the submit button. This pertains to my sister’s Will and her executrix of her will. My sister died in 1993 and she appointed her lady friend to be the executrix with me being second. I just recently found on missingmoney.com she is the beneficiary of a insurance policy our mom took out many years ago. It seems both forgot about this policy or did we find any documents pertaining to.The only person who can claim this money is her executrix but she is no where to be found. I have check free public records web site and social security death index with no results. Spoke to attorneys but refused to help claiming not worth it. Is it possible I can present my situation before a judge?

Asked on January 23, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

To remive an executor that has already been appointed one must bring a complaint in Superior Court in New Jersey.  But from my reading of the question it would seem to me that you never filed the Will, correct?  So you may have some options here.  Does the Will divide your sister's assets the same as if she died intestate (without a Will)?  Then you could just file as if she died without a Will and ask the court to appoint you Personal Representative of the estate.  The insurance policy will then be paid out to the estate.  You will need to open an estate account, etc.  If the Will divides assets differently, then you could file the Petition yourself with an affidavit detailing your efforts to find the Executrix and indicating that she can not be found and ask the court to appoint you instead.  The thing about the Probate Courts is that they are generally "nicer" to deal with.  The clerks can not give legal advice but they can give you forms and guide you accordingly.  Good luck.


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