Counseling Individuals And Families In Will Contests
When a loved one dies, the family usually wants nothing more to resolve all legal matters, close the estate, and move on with their lives — with pleasant memories and legacies left with them. Unfortunately, this transition is not always as simple as one would hope. Some families are burdened by disgruntled family members who feel they were cut out of the will. Other families are burdened by the knowledge that the will may not have been truthfully created. Yet other families must assert their concerns regarding marital inheritance rights — or lack of rights.
The probate lawyers of Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C., provide effective legal advice and representation in all matters pertaining to estate administration and will contests. We represent clients on all sides of will disputes in Garden City and throughout the New York City metropolitan area. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.
When Can A Will Be Contested?
Before assets of the decedent can be distributed to heirs, the will must be admitted to the probate court and validated. This provides an opportunity for any interested party to challenge or contest the will. Will contests frequently involve:
- Duress or undue influence: Was undue influence or force placed on the decedent when preparing the will? Adults in the declining stages of life may be easily susceptible to undue influence — especially by trusted children who are by their side everyday, agents appointed under a power of attorney and managing assets, and other individuals.
- Mental capacity: In will challenges, it is critical to note the date of the will or codicil. If the date is later than the onset of a particular medical condition, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the individual’s mental capacity may have been compromised.
- Marital rights: Spouses have a right to challenge distribution and request the statutory spousal inheritance share. However, when the couple was not legal married, but rather married according to common law marriage, there may be question as to whether the individual may still assert this right.
Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in sensitive and contentious litigation. We have successfully represented estates as well as beneficiaries objecting to the will in estate administration. In addition, we have successfully handled a will contest before the New York Court of Appeals.