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Will Contest Consequences in New York

A will contest is a legal proceeding in which someone challenges the validity of a deceased person's will. In New York, a will contest can have significant consequences for all parties involved, including beneficiaries, heirs at law, and the executor of the estate. If you plan to initiate a will contest or have an interest in an will that is being challenged, contact an experienced New York will contest lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. It’s important to understand will contest consequences and to have knowledgeable legal representation to ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Will Contest Consequences in New York

Here are some of the potential consequences of a will contest in New York:

  • Delay in the distribution of assets: A successful will contest may result in significant delays in the distribution of the decedent's assets to the rightful beneficiaries. The prolonged legal proceedings, influenced by the intricacies of the case and the court's docket, could extend over months or, in more complex scenarios, even years. During this period, the estate's assets may remain in limbo, causing uncertainty for the beneficiaries who await their rightful inheritance. The protracted legal battle not only adds emotional strain to the involved parties but also imposes financial burdens, as legal fees accumulate over time. This potential consequence underscores the far-reaching implications of the standing issues raised in the probate proceeding, emphasizing the need for a judicious and efficient resolution to mitigate adverse impacts on all stakeholders.
  • Increased legal fees and expenses: Will contests can be expensive, especially if the case goes to trial. The costs of legal fees, court fees, expert witnesses, and other expenses can add up quickly, and they may come out of the estate assets. This means that the beneficiaries may receive less than they would have if the will contest had not occurred.
  • Strained family relationships: A will contest carries the potential for exacerbating tensions within the family unit, leading to strained relationships among its members. The emotionally charged nature of such disputes can give rise to conflicts that extend beyond the courtroom, permeating familial bonds. The adversarial legal proceedings, with family members positioned on opposing sides, may escalate to a degree where communication breaks down entirely. The fallout from a contested will has the capacity to sow long-lasting discord, with some family members opting for estrangement rather than reconciliation. This not only impacts the individuals directly involved but can have a ripple effect, influencing the broader family dynamic. Thus, the petitioner's standing issues, if successful, not only affect the legal disposition of the estate but also carry the weight of potentially irreparable harm to the familial relationships at the heart of the probate dispute.
  • Risk of losing inheritance: A successful will contest raises the serious prospect of losing one's inheritance. If a will is declared invalid, the legal course of action involves distributing the deceased person's assets according to the rules of intestacy. This departure from the intended beneficiaries specified in the contested will redirects the inheritance to the deceased person's legal heirs. The implications are significant, potentially resulting in a complete loss of the inheritance initially outlined in the contested will. This financial upheaval can be emotionally and economically distressing for the contesting beneficiary, as they confront the possibility of losing not only their expected share but, in some instances, their inheritance entirely. The outcome underscores the importance of carefully crafted and legally sound estate planning to prevent such adverse consequences. To understand how intestate estates in New York are distributed, contact an experienced New York will contest lawyer.
  • Loss of control over estate: If the will is found to be invalid, the deceased person's estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This means that the deceased person's wishes regarding the distribution of their assets may not be carried out.
  • Possible removal of the executor: If the executor of the estate is found to have acted improperly, they may be removed from their position. This can be a serious consequence for the executor, as it may affect their reputation and their ability to act as an executor in the future.

It is important to note that not all will contests have negative consequences. In some cases, a will contest can result in a more equitable distribution of the deceased person's assets, particularly if the will is found to be invalid due to undue influence, fraud, or other improper conduct.

If you are considering challenging the validity of a will or if you are a personal representative facing a will contest, it is important to consult with an experienced will contest attorney in New York who can advise you on the potential consequences of a will contest under New York law. They can also help you determine whether a will contest is the best course of action, or whether there are other options, such as mediation or negotiation, that may be more appropriate for your situation.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

A will contest in New York can have significant consequences for all parties involved. It is important to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of a will contest before initiating a challenge, and to seek the advice of an experienced will contest attorney serving New York. We can help ensure that your legal rights are projected. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Long Island, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin