New York Will Contest
A New York Will Contest Lawyer will tell you that while most people have heard the term “Will Contest,” most are not entirely sure what this term means or when it would apply. A Will Contest is usually made by potential heirs of an estate, who feel they have not received what they were due out of an estate, or that the estate is not being handled properly. When someone passes away (the decedent), their will is submitted to the probate court. The court will assess the validity of the will, and appoint an executor to handle the affairs of the estate.
During this time, a family member or potential heir may come forward and file a Will Contest. It is not enough that the family member is generally dismayed with the estate; there are specific reasons where a Will Contest can be filed. Some of these are:
- Fraud or undue influence is suspected. This argument would come into play where it can be argued that the caregiver for the decedent, for instance, had too much influence over them, and the will does not represent the true wishes of the decedent.
- The decedent did not have the requisite mental capacity when the will was created. Mental capacity concerns can arise where the decedent was heavily medicated for instance, or had an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.
- There is reason to believe that the will was forged. Potential beneficiaries may come forward and argue that the signature does not resemble the decedent’s characteristic handwriting.
- Invalid Execution. If the will was not properly witnessed or signed for instance, it can be considered invalid.
If the probate court determines that the will is invalid, the court can invalidate the entire will, or the portion that has come into question. If you are involved in an estate matter where there is a possible Will Contest, it is important to seek the advice of a New York Will Contest Lawyer to assist you. Will Contest actions can be lengthy and costly to the estate.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC have experienced New York Estate Lawyers ready to lend you counsel and support. What ever your Estate Planning needs are, from Probate Litigation, to Trust Reformation or general Will and Estate matters, we are ready to provide you with advice as well as a free consultation in Manhattan Brooklyn Bronx Queens Staten Island to Long Island in both Nassau County and Suffolk County and Westchester County. Contact us today and make your appointment at 800.696.9529.