Challenging a Will in New York

here are times when a beneficiary (or potential beneficiary) may feel the need to challenge a will. This is a difficult process, but not impossible. In order to successfully challenge a will, the contester will need to prove one of the following in order to have a will invalidated. In you believe one of these conditions might apply, contact a Long Island estate litigation attorney immediately to learn your options.

First, it is vital to determine if you have standing to object to this will. In order to contest a will, a person must have a “pecuniary interest” in said will. For instance, in almost all circumstances, a neighbor or close friend of the deceased cannot challenge a will. A child of the deceased, however, would have standing to contest a will because they do have a pecuniary interest in the will. There can be exceptions, so if a person feels they have a pecuniary interest in a particular estate, they should contact a Long Island estate litigation attorney to determine if he or she has standing.

If this person does have standing, they can contest the will on a number of grounds. One example would be that a testator lacks capacity to draft a will. This may occur if the elderly person suffers from dementia or other mental issues that may impact the soundness of their mind. In all cases, for a Last Will and Testament to be valid, the testator must have had capacity to make decisions on how their assets should be divided. Such capacity will be ultimately be decided in probate court.

Another example might be undue influence over the testator. At the end of a person’s life, a child might try to exert undue influence over an elderly parent by creating a confidential relationship with the parent. They might then use this confidential relationship to get an unfair portion of the estate. If a lawyer can prove that there was a confidential relationship or undue influence by one party over the testator, it may be possible to successfully challenge a will.

There are other examples that may lead to a successful will challenge. These can include:

  • Fraud
  • Revocation
  • Improper Execution

At The Law Offices of Seidner & Associates, we can examine your situation to determine if there are sufficient grounds to challenge a will. If so, we will aggressively fight to make sure that you get your fair share of a particular estate. To speak to a Long Island estate litigation attorney about your situation, contact our office today.