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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

How can you contest a will?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2020 | Estate Planning |

New York law determines how you should handle your will. From their creation to execution, the law dictates what is or is not legal. Today we will take a look at a popular estate litigation topic. How can you contest a will?

First, you must have a standing. This means you need to be a devisee of the will. If you can prove you would have inherited without a will, this also counts. Interested persons often include spouses, parents, children and grandparents. In special cases, siblings may count.

Second, you need evidence of impropriety regarding the will. Common reasons for contesting a will include:

  • Evidence of undue influence
  • Fraud
  • The discovery of a more recent will
  • A mentally unsound will creator
  • An improper will that was not signed or witnessed

Most of these issues have to do with a question of authenticity and the will writer’s state of mind. If you have evidence of any of these issues and you have standing, then it is within your rights to take the case to court.

Ambiguous language can also be reason to contest a will. You can take it to probate court to get clarification on any part that is not clear. This can end arguments between beneficiaries who may interpret the will in different ways.

If you wish to learn more about estate litigation, follow the link here to our web page on the same topic. Since estate law is complex, it helps to have a good base understanding. Reading about topics related to estate matters will help you build that foundation.