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Undue influence may give way to will contests in New York

After the passing of a family member, it is common for tensions to run high. Surviving loved ones are often in emotional states, and a simple issue could easily turn into a significant one. In particular, New York families may face difficulties if will contests come about during the probate proceedings for their deceased loved ones' estates.

Probate litigation may stem from family conflicts

Many people expect or even rely on an inheritance from a deceased loved one. Some may have these expectations for sentimental reasons or because they are facing financial struggles and are glad that a loved one can help from beyond the grave. However, probate litigation can often have a major impact on the inheritances that many New York residents think they are going to obtain.

Will contests could stem from concerns over document validity

Simply because a person is slightly disgruntled with the outcomes of property distribution after a loved one's death, it does not necessarily mean that he or she needs to take legal action. However, if there is real reason to believe that certain documents should not be considered valid, individuals may choose to carry out will contests. Before doing so, New York residents may want to closely consider their reasons.

Estranged families may face probate litigation

Families can bring about a lot of love and animosity. Some people may truly love everyone in their families while others have become estranged over the years. While the latter arrangement may keep arguments at bay as long as family members stay away from each other, issues could arise in the event of a death in the family. Even estranged individuals in New York may feel that they are entitled to some inheritance, and probate litigation could ensue if documents do not reflect that idea.

If a parent died without a will…

Unfortunately, too many people don’t take estate planning seriously. They assume they’ll “get to it tomorrow,” and then tomorrow never comes. These same people, if they have children or surviving family members, will leave those heirs dealing with the possibility of a lengthy probate proceeding or litigation.

Prevent probate litigation with planning and communication

For many in New York, the purpose of making an estate plan is to avoid conflict or confusion after their death. With a will or trust in place, they assume their assets will be divided according to their wishes. However, understanding the common reasons why families resort to probate litigation may help one avoid those pitfalls that create chaos out of the best laid plans.

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