Will contests are incredibly common and frequently talked about, but rarely understood. Most people know that will contests can be a powerful method of making sure the deceased’s wishes are truly preserved and honored. Many have also heard stories of malevolent heirs fraudulently contesting wills for their own benefit. Less frequently known are the grounds for contestation and how to contest a will. There may come a day where you need to seriously consider contesting a will which is why you owe it to yourself to learn all about it. Read on to illuminate the mysteries behind will contests.
Grounds for Contesting a Will
When a will is contested the Surrogate’s Court tends to look at three different areas to make their decision. Those areas are called due execution, testamentary capacity and undue influence. When looking at due execution, the Surrogate’s Court examines whether or not the executor of the estate has been acting in accordance with the will. Issues of testamentary capacity ask whether the mental acuity of the deceased at the time they wrote the will was sufficient. Finally, undue influence is the question of whether or not the will was written under coercion. So, if you have reason to believe that the executor of the estate is messing up or the departed wrote the will while sick or threatened, you may have grounds to contest the will.
How to Contest a Will
Assuming that you do have valid grounds to contest a will your next step is to get in touch with your attorney and start compiling evidence. As the one contesting a will the burden of proof is on you, so the more evidence you can compile the better. Of course, your odds of success can increase greatly if you team up with an excellent attorney who has years of experience with probate and all parts of estate planning. At Morgan Legal Group we have earned a reputation as one of the best law offices in New York. No matter what estate planning services you’re considering, we’re here to help you.