As regular readers of our Queens probate and estate administration law blog know, we regularly cover topics that involve disputes over wills. In some cases, those disputes will include what is known as a will contest .
Here in New York, anyone who is affected by a will can challenge the will. The New York City Bar Association notes that there are a number of reasons for will contests.
One reason cited in will contests is that the person who made the will was not of sound mind at the time the will was written. In general, this means the person was unable to understand the practical effects of the will.
Another reason for challenging a will is that not all proper procedures were followed in the making of the document. Examples of this would be that the will was not signed or witnessed.
We have all undoubtedly read of another will contest reason: undue influence. This circumstance can come about when, for instance, an elderly person comes under undue influence from a caregiver and writes a will that excludes their children in favor of the caregiver.
Duress: this situation involves “extreme pressure” exerted to make the person write a will that divides property against their own wishes.
It can be difficult to successfully contest a will. The process often puts family members on opposite sides of the dispute.
In some situations, a skilled negotiator can craft an agreement that resolves the matter. In other cases, litigation is required.
A skilled, experienced Queens attorney can help you achieve a favorable outcome in your situation. A confidential discussion of your circumstances with attorney Joseph Ledwidge can help you choose and pursue your best legal options in these matters.