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Probate Litigation Lawyer Bergen County, NJ Probate Litigation Lawyer Bergen County, NJ

Probate Litigation Lawyer in Bergen County, NJ

An experienced probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ may have some guidance on how to select a guardian for your children. Guardianship is a serious commitment, and the process should be completed carefully. Settling the right guardian for your child is a serious matter, and you want to be sure that you are entrusting the right person who can follow through with the commitment. Anyone with young children goes to great lengths to ensure their long-term well-being. Part of caring for your children involves assigning a guardian to raise them when you can no longer do so yourself. This decision can be difficult to make, and you may need help as you think of your options. When you are thinking of a trusted family member or friend to appoint as a guardian for your child or children, there are several factors that you should consider. Kaplan Law Practice put together the most important things to consider when selecting your child’s legal caretaker.

Ability to Comfortably Interact

A guardian should be someone who enjoys looking after children and exhibits parental sensibilities. Suitable guardians do not necessarily have children of their own, but they should feel comfortable around them. They should be able to bond with your child if they do not already have a bond with them, and should have competent parenting instincts. A person who does not feel comfortable raising a child should not be considered as a potential candidate for guardianship. Adults who feel at ease interacting with children:

  • Physically get down to children’s eye level when speaking with them
  • Use age-appropriate language
  • Ask permission before touching them
  • Don’t mind children interrupting them mid-sentence
  • Volunteer to babysit
  • Show sensitivity to children’s emotional and physical requirements

It is important to not only think about how comfortable a suitable guardian will be, but who your child will respond positively to as well. When you are evaluating candidates for guardianship, consider who your child feels comfortable and safe around as well. They should have a good rapport with the potential guardian and it should be someone they can go to for comfort and support. Someone who is at ease around your children will ensure that your children feel safe and secure.

Financial Stability

A guardian’s financial circumstances can significantly impact your child’s future. It is not enough to love or enjoy being around your children; a guardian must have a stable job and the ability to provide your children with the level of food, shelter, and enrichment that matches what you offer. If your child has unique medical needs, that is another factor to consider when you are searching for a guardian with the right financial circumstances. 

This factor can complicate your decision-making because you may be thinking of a guardian who has the suitable temperament and similar parenting style as you, but they are not the most financially secure. If someone you want to appoint as a guardian has the parenting capabilities but lacks the financial stability, they might not be appropriate to appoint as a guardian. Evaluating if a person is financially stable enough to serve as a guardian can be a complex process, so you can turn to a probate litigation lawyer for assistance. They will see if your potential guardianship candidates meet the criteria. Think carefully about your child’s financial needs as well when you are considering a guardian. A probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ has likely seen families going into debt after a loss in the family. Choose wisely in order to avoid ending up in a common unfortunate scenario.

Religious Compatibility

When considering guardian candidates, it is necessary to consider how their religious, political, and moral views will influence your children. Although everyone has a unique way of seeing, understanding, and interpreting the world, you should consider those individuals whose thoughts and beliefs align as closely as possible to those you want to instill in your children. Worldviews can differ greatly from person to person, even within the same religion. This is a topic that you will want to discuss with your guardianship candidates beforehand. It can be a sensitive subject, so you want to approach this with respect and consideration. Be sure to state your expectations and ask them about how they would raise your child and the type of religious and political beliefs they would instill in them. 

Education Level

Although a possible guardian doesn’t need to have advanced education, choosing someone who places the same value on your children’s education as you is beneficial. Whether you prefer a public, private, or religious school education for your children or you want to ensure that they attend the college of their choosing, someone you prioritize learning as you do will be more likely to fulfill your wishes. It will be easier to  Education also ties in closely to financial obligations, as certain schools and programs can be expensive. Discuss what education goals you want for your child with your chosen guardianship candidate. 


There are pros and cons to choosing guardians with life experience and those starting their life’s path. For example, experienced individuals may have more significant financial resources and stability than others. They may have more developed emotional intelligence due to their life experience and would be more open to taking on a guardianship role. Alternatively, guardians in an earlier life stage may be more energetic and remain in children’s lives well into adulthood. Think about your child’s specific needs and whether they would benefit from one or the other, or if they would be suitable being raised by either type of guardian. 

Family Status

Guardians’ family status influences childrens’ upbringing. For example, married couples who share child-rearing responsibilities will impact their children differently from single parents who rely upon alternative childcare resources. Couples with children or planning to have them can provide your children with family relationships and companionship in their age group.

Kaplan Law Practice understands that putting your child in the best hands is a big decision. Speak with a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ for more advice about what to consider when selecting a guardian for your children.

Probate Litigation Do’s and Don’ts

Losing a loved one is stressful enough, but sometimes the probate process can become complicated. There may be times when you need to consider litigation. When making this difficult decision, consult a probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, and take into account do’s and don’ts that can help you choose your actions well.

Do Consider Relationships

Think about the effects of a contested will. You might cause your siblings to feel estranged from you. If you have children, they could lose beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins. You cannot predict every ripple that probate litigation may cause throughout your family, but give the matter careful thought before proceeding and make sure you feel litigation is worthwhile. A lawyer with Kaplan Law Practice who is experienced in the probate process can offer suggestions on how to proceed.

Do Seek Legal Guidance

Find an experienced probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, who can offer helpful instructions on the ramifications of probate litigation. The process is complicated, and laws and regulations change regularly. Some states may require a probate lawyer to be involved in the process.

Do Consider Financial Outcomes

Even if you contest a will based on reasons that seem valid to you, such as perceived executor misappropriation or will irregularities, remember there is a chance you may not get funds or property awarded to you. There are no guarantees in probate litigation, but a lawyer from Kaplan Law Practice can point out potential results of litigation.

Don’t Overlook Options

Perhaps there are ways other than probate litigation for you to seek the desired outcomes. These options could include private communications or formal mediation. Other parties may be more open to dialogue than you originally think.

Don’t Get Overemotional

If you do decide to initiate probate litigation, choose an experienced probate litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, to guide you through the process. Simply explain the facts on which your case is based without lapsing into emotional outbursts or tirades. This process is not a place to air old grievances.

Don’t Assume You Will Win

A judge or jury may decide you do not have a valid case. You cannot predict the decisions of disinterested parties, so do not assume you will get an outcome favorable to you.

Don’t Forget You Can Lose Money

If you contest a will, keep in mind that you can lose money if your case fails. A lawyer with Kaplan Law Practice can work for your best interests in complex probate litigation cases.

When You Need to Hire a Probate Litigation Lawyer

While it would be ideal if the probate process always went smoothly, it sometimes doesn’t. If you’re the executor of an estate, you may wonder when it’s necessary to hire legal counsel for will or trust issues. Here are some signs you need to hire a probation litigation lawyer in Bergen County, NJ.

  • Undue influence. Unfortunately, some people may try to take advantage of elderly individuals. If these individuals are physically or mentally weak, others may try to influence them to change their will to benefit them. If you believe that the decedent was unduly influenced, it’s time to speak to a probate litigation lawyer. 
  • Incomplete will. A will has to follow very specific rules to be considered valid in court. For example, in the state of New Jersey, you must have two witnesses present when signing a will. If a document omits crucial details, it can be contested in court.
  • Fraud. Probate litigation is also necessary if the will was created by fraud. For instance, let’s say the testator is given a document and told it’s a power of attorney and signs it. However, it’s discovered that the document is actually a will. However, proving fraud can be tricky because the testator can’t be questioned. The witnesses, therefore, have to be asked what they thought the testator was signing.
  • Lack of testamentary capacity. For a will to be considered valid, the testator must have been mentally and physically healthy at the time of the signing. If the testator, for example, was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s and created a new will that differed greatly from the previous one, the document may be contested. 

Preparing for Your Meeting With a Probate Litigation Lawyer

If you have determined that a testator’s will has to be challenged, it’s wise to get in touch with a probate litigation lawyer promptly. He or she will review your case and advise you the best way to proceed.

Before your meeting with your lawyer, gather all the necessary documents, such as the original will and testament and recent financial statements of the deceased. You should also prepare a list of questions that you want to ask your lawyer. For example, you may want to ask how long he or she has been a probate litigation lawyer and what his or her fees are.

Josh Kaplan is an excellent lawyer. He carefully listens to his clients and their needs and then provides the appropriate legal solutions. I strongly recommend anybody to use his services as he is very knowledgeable, honest and discreet and gets the job done within the promised time frame.

Eric C

Joshua Kaplan came immediately to the hospital when my relative was in an accident and was very helpful in expediting necessary documents which ultimately gave me the power to save My Godmother's life as she needed emergency life saving surgery and did not have a health care power of attorney prior to this accident. Mr. Kaplan was very professional as well as very caring and extremely helpful in this very stressful situation. I would highly recommend Mr.Joshua Kaplan for his legal expertise and cannot praise him enough for all his help.


My dealings with Joshua have been nothing but pleasant and the work he did for us was complete and done in a timely manner.

He was very attentive to our company's needs and gave us 110% for the work we needed completed.


We used Josh for many things. He did my patent. Wrote it quick and very through. He also did a TM and design patent for our company. I have used other Lawer for different things and have never been more happier. Josh was alway available, called us back within a day. We highly recommend kaplan law practice.

Leonora Malakh

Josh is skillful and diligent attorney that handles estates trusts in NY and NJ. So if you are looking for a lawyer to help you and guide through the complexities of probating your estate or inheritance he is capable of delivering needed results.


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