Many individuals in new Jersey take the necessary steps before they die to create a comprehensive estate plan, which can include a will. A will simply dictates how one's assets are distributed among family members, friends and others. A will is created by most people in the hopes of eliminating future fighting over sentimental and financial assets. Unfortunately, even when a will is in place, fighting can still occur and loved ones will have to go through the complex probate process.
Mickey Rooney, a legendary actor, recently passed away at 93 years of age. His estate, which didn't amount to much in monetary terms, was left to the actor's stepson. He left nothing in his will to be distributed to his wife, who he had separated from in 2012, or his other children. Unfortunately, this has led to his wife contesting the late actor's will.
It has been mentioned that the actor did not disinherit these children or his wife out of spite. He apparently decided that, since he didn't have much of an estate and his other family members were financially stable, he should leave his assets to the person that was with him the last two years of his life. The actor's stepson and his wife had been his caretakers until he passed away in April.
Regardless of one's health or wealth, it is advised for New Jersey residents to have a will. Unfortunately, even in the best of circumstances, it is possible for a disgruntled loved one to contest the will in order to attempt to get what they feel they deserve. It may also be beneficial for loved ones to be aware of the contents of the will ahead of time so that the probate process may be able to be avoided.
Source: CNN, "Mickey Rooney's widow contests late actor's will", Alan Duke, May 8, 2014