When a loved one passes away, rumors, rivalries and resentments often simmer until the estate is finally settled. This is especially true when the deceased person leaves behind a will. An experienced will contest lawyer is needed to help settle the disputes and to ensure that the will and any trusts are properly administered.
In New York, the legal process for will contest lawyer a will is typically handled by Surrogate’s Court. Individuals that have the right to contest a will include next of kin such as spouses, children, parents and siblings. They also include those who would inherit through intestacy such as relatives and distant descendants. A good will contest lawyer can advise you as to whether or not you have standing and grounds to file a challenge.
The Role of a Will Contest Lawyer: Advocating for Your Rights in Challenging a Will
Some will challenges are based upon an allegation that the testator did not have testamentary capacity. This may be due to a lack of knowledge of who his or her relatives are or an insane delusion. It could also be the result of undue influence or coercion. To prove this, a good will contest attorney will need to be able to gather evidence such as bank transfers and testimony from witnesses that the testator was influenced.
Other grounds for a will challenge include allegations that the testator did not follow the legal formalities required in the jurisdiction in which he or she was living when making the will. This could involve a failure to sign the document in front of witnesses or failing to use certain language or jargon. It may even involve allegations that the will was forged.