COVID-19 Notice: In order to best serve you while doing our part to maximize health and safety, we continue to be available for telephone and Zoom video conferences, and documents can be prepared, reviewed, signed, and exchanged electronically. Call 646-561-9099 for your legal needs!


For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

Undue influence can lead to will contests

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2019 | Probate |

Most people want to have the time and opportunity to grieve after a loved one’s death. While many New York residents may have that chance, others may feel as if they must put those feelings on hold because concerns have arisen over the person’s remaining estate. In some cases, will contests occur due to the belief that a loved one’s will does not reflect the person’s true intentions.

It was recently reported that this type of legal dispute is currently underway in another state. Apparently, a woman with an estate valued at over $32 million created a will in 2011 that effectively left the entirety of her estate to an employee at the retirement community where she lived. The woman died in 2017, and the executor of the estate filed the 2011 will with the court. The report did state that the beneficiary of this will stopped working at the retirement community in 2018.

Still, her relatives believe that the woman did not have the mental ability to understand the document at the time of its creation and that the employee unduly influenced her. The report also stated that she had created a will in 1995 that distributed her estate to her six heirs at the time. Now, the individuals involved in the lawsuit include at least nine relatives, including nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

Learning that a loved one has left the entirety of an estate to someone who is essentially a stranger can understandably raise red flags among surviving relatives. If New York residents believe that their family members were unduly influenced by others who hoped to gain from the estates, those concerned parties may want to gain more information will contests. This legal action may help them ensure that information about the documents is thoroughly assessed for accuracy and wrongdoing.