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How Do You Contest a Will in the State of New York?

In order for you or any other person to contest a will in the state of New York, you must have grounds. Grounds are reasons based on the law that the will is invalid and should not be admitted to probate. Keep in mind, that while there is no set time deadline to contest an estate, you should do so as soon as possible. If you believe a will is not valid, please read on, then contact an experienced Putnam County wills attorney to learn how you can contest a will in the state of New York.

Who has the right to contest a will in New York?

Under New York State law, two parties have the right to contest a will:

  • Individuals who would have inherited a greater sum if there had been no will and the estate was distributed under the intestacy laws of the state of New York.
  • Individuals who would have inherited more under a previous will.

In addition to meeting those qualifications, you must also have sufficient grounds to contest a will.

On what grounds can you contest a will in New York?

Whether you are contesting a will or defending a will claim, you will have to present one or more of the following grounds:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity: The testator did not possess the mental capacity needed to make a valid will.
  • Lack of due execution: The will fails to meet the necessary formalities, i.e. the will is not in writing, signed or witnessed correctly.
  • Lack of knowledge and approval of the will: The contester has not been informed of the meaning or content of the will.
  • Undue influence or duress: A third party put pressure on the testator to make or change his or her will.
  • Fraud or forgery: A third party faked a signature or made unauthorized changes to a will.
  • Rectification and construction: The will in question is ambiguous, unclear or does not carry out the intentions or wishes of the testator.

Whatever the strength of your claim, you should reach out to a skilled Putnam County estate planning attorney to discuss your next steps.

What can a Putnam County estate planning attorney do for you?

No matter how blatant or straightforward your case may seem, even the simplest mistakes can cost you dearly. Contesting a will is an intricate, document-heavy process. A qualified legal professional will help you draft, collect and present the evidence needed to prove your case in court. Our firm will help you dot your I’s and cross your T’s, so it will not be summarily dismissed. This time is already stressful enough, so let us handle the legal work. Please give us a call today.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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