Common Reasons to Contest a Will in New York

Can You Contest  A Will?

The probate process is used by the court to verify the validity of the Will, ensure the deceased person’s creditors are paid through estate settlement and that any remaining assets go to the deceased’s beneficiaries. However, a will can be contested if there is evidence to prove it is invalid. Typically, Wills are contested when an individual is concerned that their loved one was taken advantage of in some manner when writing their Will. The court may overturn a Will if there is evidence of the following: 

 Undue Influence

A Will can be overturned for undue influence if there is proof that the deceased was manipulated by someone they trusted to write a Will that benefited them.

Coercion

A Will can be overturned for coercion if there is proof the deceased was pressured or forced into creating their Will.

Mental Incapacity

If there is proof that the deceased lacked the mental capacity to understand what their assets were, who their friends and family were, and what was in their Will at the time it was created, the Will can be overturned for mental incapacity.

The Will Does Not Meet NY Requirements

If the Will of the deceased does not meet the following requirements as required by NY law including:

    • The will must be signed by and in the presence of two witnesses.
    • The testator must have communicated to the two witnesses that they are witnessing a will.
    • The will must be signed by, or in the direct presence of the testator.
    • The signature is at the end of the Will.
    • The process must be completed within 30 days of the testator’s signature.

Beneficiaries Obtained the Will by Dishonest Means

A Will can be overturned, if beneficiaries obtained it through dishonest means, including if the deceased was misled about the Will’s signature, contents, or any factors that may have impacted their decision.

A Revoked Will

A Will can be overturned if it cannot be found, is physically destroyed, or a more recent one was created.

Working With Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC

Our Trusts & Estates Attorneys specialize in the representation of executors and beneficiaries of large estates exceeding $500,000. We have extensive knowledge and experience with New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law (EPTL), Surrogate Court Procedures Act (SCPA), and other estate laws and case precedent that provides our clients with the strong representation these matters require. If you have further questions please contact us at (914) 228-7448 or email us here.

Related Posts
  • What Can an Estate and Probate Attorney Do for You? Read More
  • What Is the Main Advantage to Using a Living Trust Instead of a Will? Read More
  • Elements of Undue Influence in New York Read More