Will Contest Lawyer in New York

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A will can be contested on several grounds, each with its own set of complications. The increase in blended families and second families as a result of late in life marriages has fostered increasingly complex issues in the distribution of estates. It is crucial that a highly experienced New York estate litigation lawyer be retained to ensure that the intent of the decedent is properly defended. Some of the grounds upon which a will can be contested are:

An Improperly Executed Will - A will must be properly signed by the testator (the writer of the will) and properly witnessed by at least two people who must also sign the will at the end of the document. A will can be contested on the grounds that these signatures or the drafting of the will do not meet the legal requirements. A will can also be challenged if there are ambiguities in the document.

Mental Competence of the Testator - A will can be declared void if it can be proven that the testator was senile, delusional or of unsound mind at the time it was written and signed. In order for a will to be valid, the testator must be able to understand the extent and nature of his/her assets and be aware of the parties to whom the assets will be distributed. Challenging a will is a difficult, but not impossible process. The emphasis is on protecting the rights and intent of the decedent. The burden of proof is on the party challenging the validity of the will.

Suspicion That the Will Was a Product of Fraud or Undue Influence - When a testator has been coerced or improperly compelled to execute a will, that will could be deemed invalid. A fraudulent will is one that is signed based on false statements made to the testator. Again, these allegations are difficult to prove and require expert knowledge of the laws governing will contests.

Second Will is Discovered - If proven valid, a newer will replaces the older will. There are time limitations and constraints after which you may not be able to contest a will. The time frame in estate litigation differs from other areas of law that may carry statutes of limitations of years. Matters involving the validity of a will must be initiated immediately. Quick probate times are in effect to ensure that bills are paid and assets can be distributed in a timely manner. Once a will has been accepted for probate it becomes extremely difficult to initiate legal action to contest that will.

The team at Novick & Associates is highly experienced and has litigated matters in all Surrogate's courts in the New York Metropolitan area including Donald Novick and his team can handle any matter involving wills, trusts and estate litigation in an efficient and effective manner, and zealously protect the rights of heirs in all estate contests.

Contact a New York estate litigation attorney to discuss any legal issue involving a will, an inheritance or other matter involving an estate.

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