Executor of a will

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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