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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

Grounds for contesting a will

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2019 | Firm News |

When a loved one dies in New York, you may find yourself cut out of the will. This move by the decedent may seem unusual, given that you were once the executor.

Do you feel like something is amiss with the will? If so, the professionals at Busson & Sikorski, PC want to help you get a resolution. Sometimes, decedents change wills unexpectedly, but other times, evidence may point to wrongdoing. See if you have grounds for contesting the will through probate.

Standing to contest a will

New York law requires those who wish to contest a will have standing. To qualify under this prong, you must prove that you have an interest that relates to the finances attached to the estate, also known as a pecuniary interest. This means you must show that you are a beneficiary or were in a prior version, or that you are an heir who will receive less under the will than you would if there was not a will.

Reasons for contesting a will

Once you show that you have the right to proceed, you must present evidence that one of the following is true:

  • The will is fraudulent, meaning the decedent executed the will under fraudulent representations
  • Undue influence occurred, placing pressure on the decedent to change the will
  • The decedent did not wish to use this version of the will
  • The decedent did not correctly execute the will
  • At the time the will signing occurred, the decedent was not of sound mind and body

Finding out that a loved one changed a will is shocking and may occur under suspicious circumstances. For more insight on this process, click here for our website.