A will is one of the most important components of an estate plan. When an issue arises with a will, a beneficiary may want to contest it. If you are in this situation, our firm can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced New York estate planning attorneys.

What makes a will valid in New York?

A will is an important document. With that being said, there are some specific guidelines that must be followed in order for it to be considered a valid will. The guidelines are as follows:

  • 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
  • The testator must be at least 18 years old and of “sound mind and memory”
  • At some point during the will’s execution and attestation, the testator must tell each witness that the document is their will

Why should I contest a will?

Once a will is created, the document must go through probate court after the testator dies. The probate process is used to determine whether the will is a valid document. In the event that a court believes that the will is invalid and does not follow the guidelines, it may be contested. Probate law states that a will can only be contested by those who are mentioned in the will of a previous will that was written.

There are several reasons a will may be contested. The most common reasons include the following:

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

What if the will is invalid?

The court will throw out a will if it is deemed invalid. 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 are looking to contest a will, it is in your best interest to reach out to our experienced firm today. Our legal team recognizes that after the passing of a loved one, litigation is likely the last thing you would like to deal with. We want to ensure that your matters are resolved as soon 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.