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In New Jersey, all estates have to go to a surrogate office and all wills are probated. What does this mean for the executor and beneficiaries? You should find an attorney who can help guide you through the process. 

Use an Experienced Estate Lawyer When You Need Assistance with a Loved One's Will Probate

The will probate process can be complicated and tedious, especially when you're simultaneously dealing with the grief associated with a loved one's death. While some wills can be probated easily with a walk-in appointment to the county clerk, other situations can be infinitely more complex. Consulting with an experienced estate lawyer can help you navigate the realm of will probate in New Jersey as stress-free and efficiently as possible.

How Can an Estate Lawyer Help?

A lawyer can function in several capacities when an estate moves into probate. For example:

  • Identifying probate and non-probate assets. Your lawyer will help to identify the probate and non-probate assets so you don't waste any time on assets or inheritances that aren't included in the probate proceedings. If there is any real estate present in the will, obtaining an attorney is necessary because you will need one to close on the new deed.

  • Protecting the deceased's wishes. If a will or trust is being contested, you have a vested interest in protecting your loved one's intentions. A lawyer will review the will or trust in question and defend it as needed to respect the deceased's wishes.

  • Assisting you as the executor. Being asked to serve as executor or trustee is an honor and it's easy to say, "Yes," when death seems like a remote reality. However, serving as executor or trustee demands a significant amount of organizational skills as well as time. Your legal team will assist you with the entire process, saving time, energy, and money.

Contact Stern & Stern to learn more about will probate in New Jersey or to receive personalized assistance with a current probate issue.


If you have assets that you want to pass down to your heirs, you may want to consider setting up an irrevocable trust. Whether you have property, valuables, bank accounts, etc., it is always wise to plan ahead so that your heirs receive your property according to your wishes. 

An irrevocable trust offers a number of benefits you should consider. Irrevocable trusts are more permanent than their counterpart (the revocable trust,) but can still be amended with the court's permission. An Irrevocable trust is an estate planning tool to minimize taxes.

If you require long-term care, putting your assets into an irrevocable trust can protect them from Medicaid or medical claims, depending on the situation. The cost of setting up an irrevocable trust can differ depending on your situation as well, so your best bet is to consult with an attorney who can help you navigate the complicated field of trusts in New Jersey to evaluate your situation and help you protect your assets in the best way possible. 

Stern & Stern LLP can help you set up both revocable and irrevocable trusts in New Jersey. We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 to determine which is right for you, and to set up a time to meet with us. We'll be happy to walk you through the steps and begin the process of protecting your assets with you.


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be inflicted in major car accidents, but they can also manifest from a seemingly harmless slip and fall accident or a knock on the head at work. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, Stern & Stern can file a claim on your behalf so you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

File an Injury Claim with Stern & Stern if You of a Loved One has Been a Victim of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain is jarred so hard within the skull that nerve fibers are actually stretched apart. Typical causes of TBIs include whiplash, hard falls or the blunt force of a hard object coming in contact with the head. Victims of a TBI can have a host of side effects, including things like severe concussion and/or lack of consciousness, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and more.

These side effects may or may not correct themselves over time. When the effects of a TBI do not heal, it can mean the inability to remain employed, may require extensive medical treatment, and may require physical, cognitive, or occupational therapy. This can all take a financial toll on the family. 

If you feel as though you have a case to sue for TBI, first ask yourself these questions:             

  • Were your injuries caused by the actions (or inactions) of the person you're suing?
  • Has the person you're suing failed to act with reasonable care towards you?
  • Have you measured injuries or losses that are measurable under the law?

Don't take the law into your own hands. If you think you have a case, contact the legal team at Stern & Stern. Their experienced personal injury lawyers can review your case and help get you what you deserve.


Before you decide to obtain worker's compensation in New Jersey, make sure you know the facts. Medical expenses, lost wages and other hardships as the result of a work-related accident, or cumulative work-related physical degeneration, can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Get Familiar With the Ins and Outs of Worker's Compensation in New Jersey

Worker's Compensation was designed for workers like you. Unfortunately, the system has been so exploited and abused that regulations, paperwork and document requirements have become exceedingly stringent. The more you understand about the system beforehand, the easier it will be to navigate. You should also consider enlisting the assistance of a legal professional to keep the process moving forward in an efficient and timely manner.

Here are some of the basics regarding New Jersey worker's compensation claims:

Work-related injuries. The term "work-related injury" includes more than just a slip and fall accident or acute injury obtained at work. It also covers chronic injuries and debilitating physical conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome or lower-back injuries, that occur "in the course of State employment." Work-related injuries also include any injury or accident that transpires while you are attending an off-site meeting, at a conference or any other off-site activity or task related to your work.

Notification. It is imperative that you notify your employer within 14 days of the injury. If the accident or injury occurs onsite, you, a coworker or a manager should report the accident immediately. If possible, file a detailed accident report within 24-hours and take pictures in the event they can help your case.

Seeking medical treatment. Your employer has the right to select the healthcare provider(s) you attend for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, etc.

Are you are considering pursuing a worker's compensation claim in New Jersey? Contact Stern & Stern for professional, competent assistance.


When you dream of building a new home, remodeling or finally taking care of lingering home improvement items, a courtroom is the last place you want to end up. Unfortunately, a contractor's word isn't always what it should be.

If your contractor or home improvement specialist didn't finish the job or didn't finish it to the specifications in the contract, you have a right to sue.

Tips on How to Handle a Contractor Who Didn't Finish the Job

The best way to avoid a lawsuit is to hire a reputable, licensed contractor who is both bonded and insured. Even so, you can still find yourself the victim of one of the following scenarios:

  • A job that was left unfinished or is taking significantly longer than originally specified for no identifiable reason.
  • Work that is sub-par and/or doesn't meet the specifications of the work laid out in the contract or your work agreement.
  • Overbilling by the contractor. It is common for some projects to come in over bit but overbilling should not be a consistent issue
  • Staged or completed work that fails the building inspections of your local governing building officials.

In certain instances, home improvement work may be left in a state such that your home is unlivable. If this is the case, take pictures and carefully document the status of the work before a new contractor takes over.

If you have recently experienced, or are currently experiencing, any of the above scenarios, contact legal professionals who specialize in these types of issues. Failure to provide proper proof, documentation or evidence can negatively affect the outcome of your lawsuit. Your legal team will be able to tell you how to proceed based on the specifics of your particular situation.

Wondering how to handle a contractor who didn't finish the job?


Estate planning can be a complicated and time consuming process. If you have financial or physical assets that you'd like to leave for your heirs, there are a number of things you'll need to consider. At the top of that list, you'll need to know the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts in New Jersey.

Both begin as what is known as an intervivos trust, and this means that it goes into effect while you're still living. A revocable trust allows you to change your mind and alter provisions within the document, while an irrevocable trust is far more permanent, but can potentially be changed with permission from the court. 

Further, with an irrevocable trust, you cannot retrieve your property, even if you change your mind, while revocable trusts allow you to add or remove property. Additionally, each trust has its own set of rules and differences when it comes to taxes and estates. 

Navigating the realm of revocable and irrevocable trusts can be difficult and confusing, so don't do it alone. Stern & Stern, LLP would be happy to assist you with both revocable and irrevocable trusts in New Jersey.

We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 to set up a meeting where we can discuss your specific needs and help guide you to the right legal solutions for your assets.


Drafting legal documents in New Jersey requires a sound knowledge and understanding of the law and legalese. Without the guidance and facilitation of a legitimate legal professional, drafting legal documents in New Jersey can be risky.

Don't Leave Your Business Vulnerable When Drafting Legal Documents in New Jersey

One misused phrase or a single oversight when fine-tuning the wording in your small business contracts and other business transactions can put your business at risk. An experienced business lawyer will help you to:

  • Form your business. Make sure your business is structured with regards to income tax, business continuity, and the legal liability your company may be exposed to. Your legal team will assist you with the drafting of Partnership Agreements, Incorporations and the formation of LLCs.
  • Draft wise partnership agreements or dissolution. Whether you are forming or dissolving a business and/or partnership, you want to make sure that your rights, wants and needs are equally represented in any contracts or agreements.
  • Document reviews. Perhaps your prospective business partner(s) or associates have already drafted the contracts and agreements. In this case, it's imperative that you consult with a lawyer well-versed in business law to ensure your rights are being protected and that you are getting everything you are entitled to. Your lawyer's review can protect you from being tricked into anything that would be difficult to remedy once you sign the dotted line.

In addition to any agreements related to the formation of your business, your legal team will also assist you with business purchases and sales, as well as any real estate or contractual needs for your business.

Interested in learning more about how a lawyer can assist you with your business negotiations, contracts, and agreements? Schedule a consultation with the business law team at Stern & Stern.


Mistakes can cost you a fortune when you're closing a business down. When it comes to business dissolution in New Jersey, you'll want to make sure that everything is in order before you close your doors. 

Following the proper procedure is essential in order to protect you from tax liens and from creditors. While any business (LLC, LLP, and LP's) formed before 3/20/2013 is not required to go through a formal dissolution process, it's still recommended that you do so for both peace of mind and to ensure that your business' affairs are formally concluded.

The process of business dissolution in New Jersey can be straightforward, but it's always prudent to have your attorney help you with the process. From inventory to employees, you'll want to make sure that you're doing everything in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey.

Get your tax clearance certificate and have your attorney assist you in filling out the form. It is then filed to the Division of Taxation for approval and the issuance of the certificate. 

Failing to do this can lead to penalties, additional taxes, and fees that may be assessed by the Special Procedures Branch, Judgment Section. This can be a rather lengthy, and quite frankly, painful process especially if your business has closed down because of adverse economic conditions. 

Stern & Stern would be happy to assist you as you navigate the process of business dissolution in New Jersey. We invite you to contact us by calling 201-567-2900 to speak with our team and to determine the proper steps you need to take.


Amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer,New Jersey also experiences its fair share of rain, snow, ice and freezing temperatures. This leads to an increase in unnecessary and preventable slip and fall accidents. The right (or wrong!) combination of experiences can lead pedestrians, workers and others to become victims to injuries sustained from falls.

Are You Entitled to Slip and Fall Compensation in New Jersey?

Slip and fall accidents are prevalent at this time of year when black ice and other winter hazards are more common. If you have been a victim of a slip and fall accident you may be entitled to compensation from aNew Jerseybusiness or residential homeowners insurance policy.

Examples of slip and fall injuries this time of year include:

  • Icy sidewalks or parking lots. Accumulated ice, snow and snow plow drifts can make public sidewalks and parking lots a major hazard. One slip and the victim can land hard, causing serious injuries.
  • Snow accidents. Snow can also form a visual barrier between you and potential hazards such as parking curbs, exposed tree roots, raised sidewalk concrete etc.
  • Accidents on the job. Wet and/or freezing conditions make it dangerous for those who work outside. Even office workers can be exposed to slip and fall scenarios via snowy or icy walkways or slick hard surface flooring that has become wet due to snow melt, water dripping from jackets and umbrellas, etc.

If you're injured, get medical attention immediately. Sometimes, seemingly harmless injuries can become more serious down the road, especially if your head, neck or back were injured. Immediate medical attention will ensure you get the care you need. You should also call a legal professional who can determine if you are entitled to slip and fall compensation inNew Jersey.

Contact the lawyers' at Stern & Stern LLP to learn more about your rights and damages to which you are entitled regarding slip and fall accidents.


Back in the 1980's, McGruff was famous for suggesting that people should "take a bite out of crime." Unfortunately, a great many dogs, cats, and other animals have taken that suggestion literally and attacked people in the neighborhoods in which they live. It's a growing problem and as personal injury lawyers in New Jersey, we know the expenses from an animal bite can add up quickly.

If you've been bitten by an animal, you have some strong protections on your side. That's because pet owners in the state are liable for the injuries their animals may cause to others. It doesn't matter if it's the first time, or the tenth time, the owner is always responsible.

To meet the standards for filing a lawsuit, the following conditions must be present:

  • The animal bit you.
  • You were in a public area or legally on private property where the animal resides.
  • The defendant is the legal owner of the animal.

Naturally, there may be mitigating circumstances that will need to be factored in to determine liability. Were you provoking the animal? Was the animal sick? Was the animal being threatened or unintentionally mishandled? These are all things that will go into determining whether or not you have a case that can be pursued. If you do, the State of New Jersey has passed laws that protect you and make it possible for you to collect damages for your pain, suffering and your out of pocket expenses.

Stern & Stern LLP can help you navigate the complex legal process that often comes with seeking compensation for animal attacks. We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 for more information about our practice and to help you determine if we are the right personal injury lawyers in New Jersey for your case.


There is plenty of medical malpractice information out there for you to think over, but why risk pursuing a case by yourself when there are professionals who can make sure you get everything you're owed? When you are injured and in need of legal assistance to cover your medical expenses, it's important that you follow the right steps to ensure that your needs are adequately met and that you receive the funds you are entitled to.

When starting out, the best thing you can do is to gather as much information as you can. That makes it easier for you to sift through the cacophony of information to find exactly what applies to your case. Further, it's important for you to document everything and keep that information organized and stored together. This makes it easier to reference, and it makes it easier to tally up medical expenses, etc.

Throughout the process, it's important to "steel your resolve." Often, insurance companies will throw out a small settlement in the hopes you will accept and the claim will die. Thus, it's important to consider any offers carefully, and to discuss them with your attorney before accepting them. Otherwise, you could be facing unforeseen medical expenses down the road that you will be 100% liable for. 

By working with the Stern & Stern team, you can rest assured that your claims will be filed in accordance with the statutes and that you won't be left holding the bag for someone else's mistakes. That's our guarantee to our clients and it's a guarantee we fully stand behind even after the claim is settled.

Medical malpractice is something that requires the skills of a legal team familiar with the law and with the expertise needed to apply it to assist you. That's why we invite you to contact Stern & Stern, LLP. with your questions and to learn more about our medical malpractice services.


Prosecuting and seeking compensation for wrongful death in New Jersey can be a trying and complicated experience. Because so many factors go into achieving a successful resolution, it's important to go through the process with lawyers who are skilled at navigating through the legal requirements of proving a wrongful death has occurred.

In New Jersey, wrongful death is defined as having occurred when a person's life has ended as the result of a wrongful act, negligence, or default of another. This is a broad definition which covers an individual whether the death occurred at the hands of a medical professional, the negligence of an individual in the operation of machinery or a vehicle, and many other causes of wrongful death.

After a person has died, you have up to two years to file a wrongful death claim in New Jersey. This is a strict limit and it is rare for the courts to allow a case to be followed past this deadline. 

Stern & Stern LLP can help you file a lawsuit for wrongful death in New Jersey. We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 for more information about our services and the process involved in seeking just compensation for your loss.