When you go through the effort of creating a last will and estate plan, you expect that your family members and heirs will respect your wishes. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to contest a last will, claiming they expected to receive more than you allotted for them.
Contesting a will is something you may need to do if your parent passes away and everything isn't as you expected. For instance, if you had previously been the main heir to your parent's estate and now it's going to someone outside the family, that could draw some red flags. If you're not sure that the will was changed appropriately, you can contest it. Here are a few things you need to know.
When it comes to challenging a will, New York residents may find the process difficult. However, there are times when someone, especially the decedent's spouse, can successfully challenge a will based on certain circumstances.
According to reports, a second will has now been filed for the court to consider in the ongoing case of a wealthy Staten Island man who died, leaving a $40 million estate without apparently having heirs. The 97-year-old man's wife predeceased him, and they had no children.
Many married couples in New York assume that they do not need to write a will. Couples believe that when one spouse dies, everything will simply be passed to the surviving spouse. While this is in some cases true, these matters can be much more complicated when a couple has children. To ensure that there are no disputes between family members, it is always important for people to state their intentions clearly in a will.
Digital document archives are becoming popular among people in New York who are planning their estates. Sites like Everplans, Principled Heart and AfterSteps provide a platform where people can easily store digital versions of estate planning documents like wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives. Digital archives can also house important financial information and personal assets like photos.
Many New York residents have heard about the ongoing dispute over the estates of Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Kristina. Both the Houston and Brown families are reportedly fighting over what happens to Houston's estate. According to a report, members of Whitney Houston's family are named as the legal inheritors of Bobbi Kristina's wealth; however, reports also note that Bobby Brown's family wants to inherit the money.
As some New York residents may already know, having a will helps to protect one's family and assures that beneficiaries the decedent chooses receive assets. There are other ways, often used in conjunction with a will, to allocate some assets after death. Learning about specific transfer methods will enable grantors to distribute assets as they see fit without the need for probate.
When New York residents are going through the estate planning process, they often decide to leave money to designated beneficiaries. However, those who are leaving money to future generations may wish to control how that money is spent. For instance, a parent may not want an inheritance used to support a political candidate or cause that he or she disagrees with.
Because every state has its own requirements related to the validity of a will, newcomers to New York should pay careful attention to these details. Neglecting to properly execute a will could result in probate complications as well as challenges from heirs. A recent case in Tennessee, for example, resulted in the wishes of the testator being successfully challenged by his son. Although the man obtained witnesses and had them complete and sign a self-proving affidavit, the witnesses failed to sign the actual will.