Saturday, December 29, 2018
Joseph A. Romano recently published a Comment entitled, No "Dead Giveaways": Finding a Viable Model of Ante-Mortem Probate for New Jersey, 48 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1683-1704 (2018). Provided below is the first paragraph of the introduction to the Comment.
Testators who make every effort to preserve their assets, consult with an attorney, and strategize their dispositions may still face the scorn of a friend or relative who feels slighted by an unfavorable bequest. While theoretically a testator may be of sound mind and free from undue influence up until his last moments, it is not until after death that potential takers will emerge to challenge the validity of his will. The best advocate to defend these challenges—the testator—is no longer available to offer evidence to the contrary, and courts must instead rely upon the often self-interested hearsay that remains. Executors and estate planners alike have long been cognizant of this “worst evidence” rule, as well as the headache of litigation it often creates.