Challenging a will in East Islip, NY

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When someone dies, there will be a ton of responsibilities the bereaved family has to fulfill. From letting everyone close to the deceased know of their loss and planning the funeral arrangements to figuring out what to do with the estate left behind. This process may come with roadblocks, especially if someone is thinking of challenging a will in East Islip NY.

Before any assets get distributed to the rightful recipients, the court should look at the last will and testament written by the deceased. This document will be the basis for who gets what from the decedent’s estate. But you should expect that not everyone will agree to what’s written in the will.

Knowing the process of challenging a will not only let you legally contest a will you disagree with but also helps prevent your will from being challenged when that day comes. To get personalized legal help in challenging a will in East Islip NY, reach out to Donato Law today to schedule an appointment!

What is a Will Challenge?

If an individual with a last will and testament passes away, the will gets submitted to court to go through the probate process. The proceedings involve the judge determining the will’s validity, the document is admitted to the court and the terms stated (how assets should be distributed, etc.) are followed.

A will challenge, also called a will contest, is when an interested party – usually a family member, heir, or beneficiary – are dissatisfied with the contents of the last will and testament and object to it. A will’s validity can be contested by one or more individuals for a variety of possible reasons, which will be discussed later.

Challenging a will does not happen often. Most wills that undergo probate get through it without any incident. However, somebody who could benefit from getting the court to invalidate the will can contest the will in probate court and show that the deceased wasn’t in the right mental state or age when it was written.

Discuss with a seasoned estate planning attorney about what other grounds you can challenge a will and get more valuable knowledge on challenging a will in East Islip NY.

What are the Grounds for Challenging a Will?

It is almost impossible to convince the court to invalidate a will if there’s proof that it was witnessed properly and if it appears valid. Nevertheless, you can use certain arguments if you want the court’s ruling to go in your favor.

Below are five grounds to challenge a will in East Islip NY:

Challenging because of will maker’s age

The will maker has to be either 18 years or older or is a resident of a state that allows people below 18 who are married or on military duty to write a will. However, a will invalidated due to being underaged almost never happens.

Challenging over mental incapacity

The deceased should be of sound mind and have good testamentary capacity at the time the will was written. Although not a difficult standard to follow (the inability to recognize certain people and general forgetfulness don’t prove mental incapacity), the court will determine whether the willmaker was lucid during the time of writing for it to be considered valid. 

Challenging as a result of undue influence

When an adult child, caregiver, or somebody in a position of trust is suspected of coercing the will maker to leave most or all of their assets to them, those who feel like they should be the rightful heirs can contest the will. To invalidate the will, the court must determine that what was written favors the wrongdoer’s agenda more than the will maker’s.

Challenging based on forgery or fraud

Another way you can challenge a will East Islip NY is if you believe that the will-maker or witness’ signature on the document was forged. The will can also be contested if it’s believed that the will maker was tricked into signing a document that had changes made to it without their knowledge. Challenging a will under these grounds can also be related to mental incapacity and undue influence.

Challenging due to improper execution

For a will to be properly executed, it needs to be dated and signed with at least two adult witnesses present (who must also sign the document).

If you plan on challenging a will East Islip NY under the grounds mentioned above, make sure to work with an experienced New York estate planning attorney to help you build a strong case.

How to Challenge a Will?

You may initiate a will contest after the document is submitted to probate. Acting quickly is the key to starting the process promptly, so being aware of when the probate proceedings started and what deadlines to follow is a must. 

Consulting with a knowledgeable New York estate planning attorney allows you to have someone give advice on the legitimacy of your grounds for contesting the will. You’ll also know what forms or documents you need to prepare before challenging a will East Islip NY.

But before you even consider contesting a will, you must know that the odds aren’t in your favor. You should only proceed with the will challenge when you have a rock-solid case and so much to gain.

Why Do I Need an East Islip, NY estate planning attorney?

What sets our work apart from others is it is being centered around honesty, integrity, and loyalty. Atty. Jodi Donato approaches every client with compassion and a clear understanding of how difficult their circumstances are, while also:

  • Using decades of valuable experience to provide personalized legal assistance in various practice areas
  • Working hard to help every individual and their family attain peace of mind
  • Staying dedicated to providing every client with a fresh start and a stress-free future

If you want to work with a compassionate estate planning attorney who’s experienced in challenging a will East Islip NY, call our law office today to schedule an appointment!

Call our East Islip, NY estate planning attorney Now!

Our New York estate planning lawyer provides quality legal assistance that allows you to be fully in control of your wealth and health. Apart from challenging a will in East Islip NY, we can also help you in creating different estate planning documents, including the power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, and more!

Ready to make an appointment with Jodi? Contact Donato Law today and avail a free initial consultation! Our law office also caters to issues related to family law and divorce.

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