New Jersey Attorneys Handle Cases Involving Contested Wills

Red Bank firm represents parties in all types of inheritance disputes

Whether you’re serving as the executor of an estate or are a potential heir, a will contest can be a costly, difficult struggle. As soon as a potential dispute arises, it’s important to retain an attorney with significant probate litigation experience. Parsons & Nardelli in Red Bank represents clients from Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties, as well as other New Jersey locations, in a full range of inheritance disputes. Our firm has provided exceptional counsel on will contests and other forms of probate litigation for more than 50 years.

Issues that frequently give rise to will contests

Disputes over wills occur for various reasons. Some of the most common allegations in probate litigation matters include the following:

  • Undue influence — Elderly and infirm individuals are frequently vulnerable to being controlled by people who are close to them. Whether the alleged undue influence involves threats to the testator or manipulation disguised as genuine concern, it raises issues that can cause serious probate problems.
  • Lack of capacity — Someone who is not of sound mind is not capable of creating a legal instrument such as a will. While some forgetfulness on the testator’s part is might not be enough to prove lack of capacity, a will contest might succeed if evidence shows that the testator did not understand what they were doing when they drafted and signed the document.
  • Improper execution — Most New Jersey wills must be signed the testator and two witnesses. Failure to follow procedural requirements could result in a court’s refusal to accept the will and a distribution of property based on state intestacy law.
  • Fraud — If questions arise about the authenticity of the document or the testator’s signature, resolving the conflict could require testimony from multiple fact witnesses and possibly expert testimony.
  • Ambiguity — There can be situations were language in a will is open to more than one interpretation, especially when the testator drafted the instrument without the assistance of an attorney.

There is no time to waste if you are considering a will contest. New Jersey residents have only four months from the date the will is admitted to probate initiate a challenge. This period is extended to six months for someone out of state. The burden of proof lies with the party looking to deny enforcement of the will.

Resolving conflicts during the probate process

In New Jersey, probate starts in Surrogate’s Court with the filing of the will. The first sign of a will contest might occur when the personal representative for the estate notifies beneficiaries that they are to receive a bequest. This must occur within 60 days of when the will was accepted for probate. Often, an inheritance dispute can work against both parties, because personal and estate assets are dissipated while the matter is being litigated. Additionally, a probate dispute can strain or break longstanding family ties. Our firm strives to resolve conflicts through mediation and negotiation whenever possible, so that the estate can be settled with the least possible disruption. However, we are experienced New Jersey probate litigators who will provide strong advocacy if your will contest ends up having to be resolved in court.

Strong advocacy during estate litigation

Evidence in an inheritance dispute could include documents going back decades and disparate recollections of family conversations. It is advisable to retain a law firm with a successful track record in these matters. We have handled all types of probate litigation claims and we use our experience to conduct thorough investigations and to present well-supported arguments. Whether you’re defending or challenging a will, our firm will explain the pertinent legal standards, protect your interests and advocate for a just resolution.

Contact a New Jersey lawyer for a free consultation about an estate dispute

Parsons & Nardelli represents clients from Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties, as well as other New Jersey locations, in will contests and other types of inheritance disputes. Please call 888-309-5589 or contact us online for a free initial consultation at our Red Bank office.

Contact the Firm


Parsons & Nardelli


151 Bodman Place,
The Coastal Building, Suite 302,
Red Bank, New Jersey 07701