Contesting A Will - New York Estate Planning News

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Contesting A Will

Unfortunately, a loved one can prepare an estate plan that does not necessarily reflect his or her wishes. As more and more baby boomers get set to retire, they tend to rely more on the individuals who provide them with services.

This can sometimes lead to the problem where a vulnerable person can sign away assets and create trusts without really understanding the long range implications. We have written before how wealthy individuals such as Gail Posner have left wills that seem like they could have been executed under undue influence.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported how bankers are helping their clients in cases where they may be undue influence. For example, when Astrid Carlson realized that her elderly aunt was lending a neighbor money and withdrawing money from a trust, she turned to Wells Fargo to get a local adult-protective-service agency to come in.

While that is an early indicator of undue influence, what happens after a loved one passes away with a will?

First, only an interested party such as a spouse or child of the decedent can contest a will. Other possible parties can be a decedent's grandchildren or even a decedent's parents.

Second, that party with the help of a NY estate attorney, must show that the decedent had a lack of capacity, or undue influence by another, fraud, the presence of a more recent will, or that the will was not executed properly.

If the will has ambiguous language, an interested party can petition the court to interpret the will and help figure out the intent of the testator.    

While these are some of the aspects during a will contest, a New York estate planning lawyer can explain how the whole process works. If you have questions about contesting a will, make sure to call a NY estate attorney.

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