In the Matter of the Estate of Edward J. Valentine, Sr., No. A-4434-16T3, 2018 WL 3131149 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. June 27, 2018)
This appeal concerned the executor’s application to sell the house of Edward J. Valentine, Sr. (“decedent”). Id. at *1. The decedent’s last will divided his estate among his five children. Id. The focus was his daughter, Eileen. Her allowed her to live in the family home until it was sold, so long as she remained current on payments for the home. Id. Eileen failed to pay property taxes for the fourth-quarter and subsequently vacated the home without submitting a key to the executor despite repeated requests. Id.
As a result, the executor sought relief so that he could sell the family home. Id. Eileen filed a counterclaim and answer which stated that she disclosed her intent to purchase the home to the executor shortly following her father’s death. Id. She also claimed that the executor misinterpreted the Will. Id. Specifically, she contended that the “total net estate” encompasses both probate and non-probate assets, which would allow her to purchase the home. Id.
The trial court granted the executor’s relief reasoning that, “there [were] no genuine issues of material fact prohibiting final judgment.” Id. at *2. The Appellate Division affirmed substantially for the reasons set forth in the trial court’s opinion. Id.