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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

3 reasons you may have to contest a will

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2017 | Blog |

You may pride yourself on having close relationships with many of your family members. You may act as a confidant, caretaker, friend or other role needed at any given time. Because of your strong bonds, your loved ones may have discussed their end-of-life wishes with you or even asked your assistance when drafting their documents. Undoubtedly, you were happy to help.

Now that a loved one has passed, you may feel an immense amount of grief. In addition to that feeling, you may believe that you have a duty to ensure that all parties handle his or her final affairs in the best manner possible. Though you may not have felt that taking on the role of executor for this estate was right for you, you likely still knew many details of the individual’s estate plan. Because of this knowledge, you could have the ability to spot an issue with the will.

Undue influence

One of the more common issues that could cause concerns regarding a person’s will involves undue influence. This type of act often occurs when someone pressures a weaker person — often the elderly — into changing his or her existing will for personal gain. You may have concerns that this action took place if your loved one had already given you the details of his or her will and you later find out that a single, unexpected person would now obtain a considerable amount of the estate.

Violation of state laws

If one does not create a will in accordance with the applicable state laws, the document is not valid. If you believe that the document’s creation did not follow state laws, you may have reason to contest the validity of the document. However, you must have evidence of your concerns.

Fraudulent documents

In a similar vein as undue influence, procuring a will through fraudulent means in order to benefit oneself could also occur. A person may trick another individual into signing a document by telling him or her that it has no major significance, when in reality, the signature allows for modifications of an existing will.

Contesting a will

If you feel that an issue exists with your loved one’s will, you may feel it an injustice to sit by and do nothing. Luckily, you do have options for raising your concerns with the court. However, contesting a will can take a lengthy amount of time, and finding the evidence to back up your claims may prove difficult. If you still wish to pursue this course of action, you may find it useful to enlist the assistance of a New York attorney.