If you have any intent whatsoever of challenging a will, you need a lawyer. However, even if you have an excellent lawyer, you still need to know the best way to contest wills in New York City. After all, you are entitled to a portion of your family member's estate, and you have every right to fight for that portion. However, most people don't know about some of the New York state laws that actually favor certain claimants, permitting you to get a portion of the estate above and beyond what most people might expect.
After you have found a good lawyer, you need to sit down with the attorney and discuss your relationship with the deceased. The best way to contest wills in New York City is to know your facts and be able to argue clearly and concisely, proving that you received an unfairly small portion of what was due to you. Even if the deceased did not clearly define you as a benefactor in the will, you may still be able to get your portion.
Learn more about New York law governing wills.
Without doubt, your best weapon is knowledge. A good attorney should provide a lot of that knowledge, but even a non-legal mind can understand some of the basic terms. This list will also prove helpful if you doubt that your attorney is doing their best job to get you what you deserve under the New York state law regarding wills. These terms are all very important in the process of executing a will:
- Intestate: When a deceased leaves no will, he or she is intestate
- Probate: The proceeding brought to court to approve an executor to execute the will's directions
- Administration: The distribution of an estate whose owner died intestate
- Administrator: A state-appointed executor of a will undergoing administration
The best way to contest wills in New York City is to approach the court while the will is in probate. Your attorney can advise you based upon your relationship with the deceased, and then you can choose how you want to contest the will. Remember, if you are the spouse of the deceased, New York state law gives you the spouse's right of election - a mandatory 'elective' share of your spouse's estate, regardless of whether you were disinherited by the will.
You may also want to look at New York Probate laws.