A will is one of the most important documents one can create. The purpose of a will is for an individual to declare how his or her assets will be divided in the event of their passing. But, sometimes a beneficiary believes that there is an issue with the will. If this occurs, the will may be contested. Read on to learn more about contesting a will in New York and what the process entails.
Reasons to Contest a Will
A beneficiary may contest a will for the following reasons:
- They believe the will was created under the undue influence of another person
- They believe the creator of the will was not of sound mind
- They believe some sort of forgery was involved
- They believe the will was not executed properly
- In order for a will to be valid in New York, it must be written and signed, and the signing must be witnessed by two witnesses who can state that the creator of the will is of sound mind.
Contesting a will can be a difficult process. It can be hard to prove that there was undue influence or forgery, but an experienced estate planning attorney will likely be able to examine other documents and testimonies in order to determine the validity of a will.
How Do I Know if a Will is Valid?
The guidelines that must be followed in order for a will to be valid is as follows:
- The testator must be at least 18 years old and of “sound mind and memory”
- The testator must either sign the will themselves or another person must sign the testator’s name at their direction and in their presence
- At least two people must witness the signature and sign their names on the will within 30 days of each other
- At some point during the will’s execution and attestation, the testator must tell each witness that the document is their will
What if a Will is Invalid
If a will is found to be invalid by a court, the will may be thrown out. If there is no other will, the deceased individual’s assets will be passed on through a New York succession plan.
If you or a loved one is looking to contest a will, contact our firm today. We understand that after the passing of a loved one, litigation is likely the last thing you wish to face. We want to ensure that your estate planning needs are taken care of as quickly and compassionately as possible.
Contact our Firm
If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.