What does it mean to lack capacity for probate and will contests?

What does it mean to lack capacity for probate and will contests?

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A will is a legal document written by the testator stating how his estate should be managed after his death. The will enables the testator to decide what happens to his estate when he is no more.

The testator names his heirs and beneficiaries in the will. If he wishes that part of his estate be given to charity, say orphanage homes or disabled persons, he states it in his will. If he desires to bequeath his whole estate to just one person, he states this in his will.

The testator names the executor in a will. the executor is the person who will be in charge of executing everything that is stated in the will, he settles creditors, taxes, bills, he ensures the estate is paid everything it is owed, he locates the beneficiaries of the estate and notifies them of the commencement of probate. The testator chooses the executor based on how much he trusts the person.

Will contest

If you are dissatisfied with a will and feel there is a need for you to contest the will, you should first find out if you have legal grounds to challenge the will. So, the first step to take is to contact a probate attorney, wills, trusts, and estate attorney, or an estate litigation attorney. Your attorney will be the one to give you legal advice on how to proceed with contesting the will.

The need to contest a will in New York comes up when one party benefiting from the will is not satisfied with the will. This could result from the unsatisfied party feeling cheated by the decedent’s will. The unsatisfied party may also have reasons to believe that there has been foul play somewhere, making another benefiting party of the will to benefit more. You reserve the right to contest a will if you have any reason to doubt the will’s validity.

To officially begin the will contest, the unsatisfied party, with the help of his or her attorney, will have to file an objection to probate in the Surrogate’s Court in charge of the will. An objection should be filed on or before the return date of a citation issued by the court.


When a person dies, what happens to his estate, which he left behind, who inherits them, what are they used for, and how are they accessed? A system was designed to cater to these needs. This system will help pass the deceased person’s assets down to his heirs and beneficiaries. This system is known as probate. Probate is a legal process through which the ownership rights of the assets of a deceased loved one is passed to the heirs and other beneficiaries of the testator’s choice.

Lack of capacity for probate and will contest

A will could be contested on the grounds of the testator’s lack of capacity. There could be several reasons why a testator is said to lack capacity.

When preparing a will, the testator should be in a sound mental state; otherwise, he might make choices that he wouldn’t make in his right senses, probably giving a larger portion of his estate to the wrong person. A bad mental state could be due to health conditions like dementia when the testator forgets things.

Another cause for incapacity is coercion and intimidation. This factor takes away the free will of the testator. When the testator is threatened or forced to adjust his will in favor of a particular person, it means the will isn’t the actual intention of the testator and this renders the will invalid in the probate court.

There could also be the case of emotional manipulation. This is usually common with persons who are romantically involved but not married.


Question: who can contest a will?

Answer: a will can be contested by a beneficiary or heir of the testator who, for certain reasons, thinks the will was influenced, or they were cheated.

Question: what happens if the probate court invalidates a will?

Answer: it will be left for the court to decide what happens to the estate based on the laws of the state

Attorney’s assistance

If you wish to contest a will or prevent your will from being contested after your death, contact our attorneys today for guidance, hire, and consult.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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