A will allows you to declare how your assets will be divided in the event of your passing. While a will is meant to care for your loved ones, it can cause a lot of stress if a beneficiary believes the will to be invalid. If someone believes a will is invalid, they may be able to contest it. This can be a stressful process, so it is important to reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney. Read on to learn more about contesting a will in New York.

What Makes a Will Valid in New York?

A will is an incredibly important document. As a result, there are some specific guidelines that must be followed. In order for a will to be considered valid, it must be:

  • The will must be in writing and signed
    • You must be 18 years or older to create a will.
  • Witnessed
    • Two witnesses will have to witness the signing of the will.
  • Statements
    • These witnesses will acknowledge why they are there and that the subject of the will is of full capacity to sign the document.
  • Filed & Probated
    • After all is completed, a will can be filed and probated.

Contesting a Will

When a will is created, the document must go through probate court after the testator dies. The process of probate works to determine whether the will is a valid document. If an individual believes the will was created without following the lawful guidelines, it can be contested. Under probate law, a will can only be contested by those who are mention in the will or a previous will that was written.

A will may be contested for the following reasons:

  • If it was created under the influence of another party
  • If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will
  • If the will was not executed properly
  • If fraud or forgery took place

If the court agrees that the will is invalid, the document can be thrown out. If there is no other will, the deceased’s assets will be distributed by the state of New York through a succession plan. 

If you believe a will is invalid, contact our firm to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. We want to ensure that your matters are resolved as quickly and easily as possible.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.