Beneficiaries and those with a pecuniary interest in a given estate are often allowed to participate, in various ways, in the New York probate process. If someone were to disagree with some of the terms of a will, it may not be necessary for the party to contest.
Probate is often a convoluted and time-consuming process. Understanding all of the ways that beneficiaries and interested parties might affect the outcome — and how these individual’s actions and interests might affect each other in a certain case — is often critical for success.
One of the reasons probate often takes so long is the potential for many parties to have input. To this end, according to the Uniform Rules For The Surrogate’s Court, each party must officially serve papers upon all other parties with most actions. This serving process and the responses may take time.
As stated on the official page of the New York State Unified Court System, the purpose of probate is, in part, proving the validity of a will . Improperly drafted wills — or those with terms falling outside the power of the courts to enforce — could face partial or complete invalidation. Even so, it is rarely advantageous to step back and let the process work itself out.
One of the more complex will issues occurs when the decedent leaves people out of an inheritance from which they expected to benefit. For example, a child might disagree with the contents of a will if his or her deceased parent left the entirety of the estate to a spouse. Another common issue is when one beneficiary believes that they would not get a fair share under the terms of the document. The latter example is less complex, because, as stated on the New York Court’s website, all beneficiaries must receive notification about the probate hearing and have the option to appear to disagree.