A will is a very important document. As a result, there are some requirements that must be met in order to create and file a valid will. Because of this, many people turn to the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Your will is a document that states what will happen to your assets in the event of your passing. If a beneficiary worries there is a problem with the validity of a will, it may be contested. Read on to learn more about contesting a will in New York, why one might contest a will, and what happens if a will is found to be invalid.

What Makes a Will Valid in New York?

For a will to be valid in New York, it must meet the following requirements:

  • 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.

Reasons to Contest a Will?

A beneficiary may claim the will is invalid and attempt to contest it. For the most part, if your will was created with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, it won’t be contested, but it does happen in some cases. Below are some reasons one may attempt to contest a will:

  • Undue influence
    • The creator of the will was being influenced by another party
  • Lack of capacity
    • The creator of the will lacked the mental capacity to make decisions with a sound mind
  • Invalid execution
    • Some of the requirements of executing a valid will were not met
  • Fraudulence or forgery
    • The will has been tampered with

What if a Will is Found Invalid?

If the court finds the will to be invalid, the will may be thrown out. The departed individual’s assets will instead be distributed by the state of New York through a succession plan.

If you or someone you know is looking to contest a will, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today. Additionally, if you are ready to begin the estate planning process and you are interested in creating and executing a valid will, contact us today to get started. 

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.