Legal Grounds to Contest a Will

A document depicting the last will.

It could be upsetting to learn that your spouse or parent has disinherited you, especially if you were caught off guard by the news. Or perhaps your recently deceased grandparent always promised they would leave you the family home. However, you were shocked to learn from a copy of the will provided by the executor or probate attorney in Queens that the property was bequeathed to your sibling.

The law, however, permits you to challenge the will if you believe it does not accurately reflect the deceased’s genuine desires.

Here’s what our probate attorney in Brooklyn suggests when a will can be contested:

Inability to Create A Will

A person must be over 18 and have testamentary ability to make a will in accordance with the law. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, insanity, and senility diminish your ability to make a will or trust. Additionally, the testator should be in a sober state of mind.

To successfully contest a will, it is necessary to show that the testator lacked the requisite mental capacity to do so for the following reasons:

  • The meaning and significance of a will under the law
  • What they were writing would have implications
  • The size of the estate and its monetary worth
  • The many parts of a will and how they all contribute to the distribution of property
  • Who the testator’s heirs are and what they might anticipate getting from them

Fraudulently Obtained

Our probate lawyers in Brooklyn concur that another reason to contest a will is if you believe the testator was coerced into writing it. One possible scenario for this is if the testator was presented with a paper and informed it was a power of attorney. If the testator signs a document without knowing it is a will and is subsequently discovered to be a will, then the will was obtained fraudulently.

The same is true if the testator wasn’t allowed to read the document thoroughly before signing it or if the testator was coerced into signing it. If the testator is under the manipulator’s “undue influence,” then the testator does not have the “free will” to negotiate, and the conduct is still fraud.

The Original Will is Void if Nullified by Another Will

If the estate executor carries out the wishes of a previous will, the new will takes precedence. Therefore, when a testator makes changes to their will, the executor should act swiftly to either destroy the old will or demonstrate their desire to revoke it. To eliminate any ambiguity, the testator should explicitly indicate that any prior wills are revoked in the current will.

For this reason, having the will dated is equally essential. If you have a more current will than the one being administered, you can contest the will’s validity and have its execution halted.

A Probate lawyer in Brooklyn jotting down information.

Let Our Brooklyn Estate Lawyers Help You

During an emotionally charged period, such as following the death of a loved one, it may be difficult to make sense of the intricate laws governing will contests. At the law office of Ledwidge & Associates, P.C., we help people with probate and estate administration by advising them and advocating for them in court.

Whether you require an Estate lawyer in Queens, probate attorney nyc, or a Real Property Law firm lawyer, you can reach out to us without hesitation.


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Legal Grounds to Contest a Will

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Legal Grounds to Contest a Will

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