There are various reasons one might want to contest someone’s Last Will & Testament after their passing. Wills are only valid if they were executed properly and free of fraud and outside influence.
When a Will is contested, the individual contesting the Will’s goal is to prove that it was created under illegal circumstances. This also means the Will should be invalidated and not be admitted to Probate, and the assets should not be administered accordingly. When a Will’s validity is being questioned, the matter is handled in the context of a Will contest proceeding.
From the Will contest attorneys at N. Khasidova & Associates, these are the ground for which someone can contest a Will in New York:
The Will was not executed properly according to New York State law. For a Will to be legally valid:
- The Testator must have signed the Will or directed another to sign it on their behalf in their presence.
- The Testator, or the individual signing on their behalf, must have signed in the presence of two witnesses.
- The Testator must have declared the document as their Last Will & Testament.
- The two witnesses must have signed the Will in the presence of the Testator.
Lack of Testamentary Capacity
The Testator was mentally incapable of executing a Will at the time. The New York Courts look at three factors to determine if they are of sound mind to execute a Will:
- The Testator thoroughly understood the meaning and the consequences of signing a Will.
- The Testator thoroughly understood the assets and property they were disposing of.
- The Testator knew the distributee’s of the assets and property according to the Will.
Undue Influence by Another
The Testator was influenced by another party to the extent that the Will ceased to be executed by their own free will. There must be motive, opportunity, and evidence that the Testator was coerced into the execution and signing of their Will.
The Testator was led to believe a false or misleading statement that was instrumental to the determination of how the Testator wished to disperse and administer their property and assets. A Will is also considered fraud if it was falsely created and executed by anyone other than the Testator.
The Testator was pressured, threatened, or forcibly coerced into creating or executing a Will they otherwise would not have or coerced into dividing up the assets and property in a way that goes against the Testator’s wishes.
Revocation By The Testator
There is a different, more current executed Will by the Testator that trumps and automatically revokes the authenticity of the Will currently in Probate. A Will can also be contested if the Will in Probate is only a copy of the original Will which was purposefully destroyed or revoked by the Testator before their death.
Contact the Will Contest Attorneys at N. Khasidova & Associates for a Consultation Today.
If you’re looking for exceptional legal guidance to contest a Will in New York, turn to N. Khasidova & Associates. We are a competitive boutique-style firm offering individualized attention at reasonable prices. Our team is guided by strong principles of solid attorney ethics, and we are easily accessible to a diverse clientele with unique backgrounds and family dynamics.
Contact our team by giving us a call at (718) 568-8181 or visit our website.