The Most Frequent Reasons for Will Contests

An heir contesting a will in court

Estate distribution following a loved one’s death often leads to legal disputes among family members. This is especially the case when someone feels they’ve been excluded from the will or haven’t received their rightful inheritance.

On what grounds can a will be contested and how do you challenge a will? Read all about it in this guide. Alternatively, you can get legal advice from one of our family attorneys in New York.

Common Conditions to Challenge A Will

Some of the common reasons that can qualify for will contests include:

Lack of Capacity

Only a person will full mental capacity can draft a will. They must understand the details of what they’re doing and how it can affect their estate. They should understand estate distribution and whom it will benefit.

If a family member or heir has a reason to believe that the will was made by a person lacking capacity, they can challenge the will in court. It’s one of the common grounds on which a will is contested due to the high diagnosis ratio of dementia among older people.

Compliance Failure

A will is valid when it’s written and duly signed in front of two witnesses. Those two individuals shouldn’t have any conflict of interest because they cannot benefit from the will.

If there’s evidence that the will wasn’t made on these conditions, heirs can contest the will because it failed to comply with all the legal formalities.

Undue Pressure

A person may be under undue influence to write bequests and clauses that they otherwise wouldn’t have added to their will. Besides being mentally sound, the will-maker should also be capable of making their own decisions without any influence.

If a beneficiary or other individual coerces a will-maker to change its contests, you can challenge the will in court.

Illegitimate Will

You can also contest a will if you have reason to believe that it’s fraudulent. For instance, doubts over the legitimacy of signature or will altogether is open to challenge.

Financial Dependence

If a child or spouse depended financially on the deceased, they can challenge the will if the inheritance doesn’t make substantial provisions for them.

A lawyer handing over a will to the person

Professional Family Law Services in Queens

If you have further inquiries about will contests, you can directly consult with our New York City probate law firm. At Ledwidge & Associates, P.C., we handle all the legal matters relating to estate planning, Real Property Law firm NYC, inheritance, will writing, and more. Contact us today!



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The Most Frequent Reasons for Will Contests

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.
The Most Frequent Reasons for Will Contests

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