When a person comes to the end of their life, they often have many treasured assets in their possession. These should be passed on to loved ones to ensure that they will still be taken care of when their life is over. This can be done with a comprehensive estate plan to prepare for what happens to these assets in the event of their death. This allows the individual to protect their assets and make sure they end up in the hands of their choosing.
One part of an estate plan can include writing a will. A will is a document that acknowledges how an individual wants their estate to be taken care of after their death. This ensures that their assets do not fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, there are cases in which an illegitimate will is created. This may happen the lawful process was not followed when creating the document.
Executing a Will
There are certain guidelines that must be followed in the state of New York to ensure a will is created legally. This is what makes the document valid. The will must be written and signed by the testator. This must be done in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the document, stating why they are present when they do so.
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 if a 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.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to contest a will, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today.
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.