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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

Standing and grounds for will contests

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2019 | Probate |

When New York residents believe that they did not get or will not get their owed property after a loved one’s death, it can be a difficult situation to handle. In many cases, individuals may have anticipated an inheritance, only to find that the terms of the will are nothing like their loved ones had explained. In some cases, this type of scenario could warrant will contests.

In order to contest a will, an individual would need legal standing to do so. This means that not just any random person can contest another party’s will. People with legal standing typically include beneficiaries named in the will, heirs eligible for property under intestate laws and beneficiaries named in a will created before the one submitted to the probate court. Without standing, a person cannot move forward with a claim.

After determining whether a person has standing, he or she needs to determine whether a valid reason to contest the document exists. If an individual believes that the document does not adhere to the laws for a valid will, such as if it does not have the right number of witness signatures, that issue could be a reason to move forward with a claim. Another example is if a person believes that the decedent was tricked or coerced into signing a new document.

Even with standing and grounds to take legal action, will contests are complicated endeavors. They can take time to address, and conflict between family members could arise during this time. Of course, if New York residents believe that this could be the best course of action for their situations, they may wish to discuss their concerns with experienced attorneys.