A will contest is the act of trying to invalidate the will of a deceased individual. Contesting a will can be very challenging, thus, it is advised that you seek help from an experienced probate attorney.
Who can Contest a Will?
Any interested individual may contest a will. This individual could be the heir of the deceased, his or her devisee, child, spouse, creditor, beneficiary, or other individual having any property right in or claim against the deceased’s estate that could be affected by the probate process.
The estate executor is an individual chosen in the will to supervise the probate of the will. Mind you, a named executor who wouldn’t inherit any of the deceased’s asset doesn’t have a standing to bring a will contest.
Worthy to note is that, as soon as a will is admitted to probate by the court, while it may still be contested it is more challenging and the standing to contest it is further limited. It is often preferable for the contestant to contest the will before it is being admitted to probate. On the other hand, if you are defending a will, it is best to admit the will to probate ASAP to reduce the chances of the contestants.
Grounds for Contesting a Will In Long Island
As I said earlier, you cannot contest a will because you dislike its terms. There are four legal reasons for a will contest in most states, and it can be challenging to prove any of them. This simply means that, you are definitely going to spend a lot of money in court and attorney fees. However, if one of these reasons for a contest is present, a last will and testament can be deemed invalid.
- The will wasn’t signed according to the applicable state laws
- The testator didn’t have testamentary capacity to sign the will
- The testator signed the will under influence
- The will was acquired by fraud
You are free to contest a will if one or more of the following reasons are present. However, ensure you contact a probate attorney for help.
If you have good reasons to believe that there was some foul play involved with the will execution itself or the circumstances surrounding the signing, the best thing to do is contact an a competent probate attorney.
A good probate attorney should be able to tell you if there is a standing to make a contest and whether legal grounds exist for a challenge.
Before you begin a will challenge or contest in Long Island, it is crucial you understand that although one or several grounds may exist, there might be potent conflicting proof that states otherwise. The estate executor may present medical records which indicates that the deceased was found in optimum health condition by his or her doctor, including writings such as emails showing that the will admitted for probate indeed mirrors the deceased’s wishes.
If the last will and testament of the decedent is turned down and deemed invalid, the whole estate will be inherited by the heirs of the deceased pursuant of New York’s intestacy law. There also exist the case in which a judge will rule only if specific provisions are invalid, while leaving other to remain.
Need a Probate Attorney?
If the estate of a loved one is set for probate, you will need to contact a probate attorney for assistance. As the executor of an estate, it is your duty to handle the probate process. However, we would agree that handling a process as challenging as probate may be too much for you. So, why don’t you hire some helping hands? Our experience probate attorneys can help you and the beneficiaries of the estate overcome the probate process without any difficulties or delay.
And if you have the intention of contesting a will, our probate attorneys can offer you the advice you need to scale through the process. In addition, these professional can review you case and determine if you have good grounds to contest the will