People who are unhappy with a loved one’s Will often try to challenge the will.
Many people mistakenly think that it’s an easy matter to show that they are entitled to an inheritance, or that the testator simply made a mistake in the Will.
However, the grounds with which to overturn a Will in New York are limited.
To challenge a Will is neither easy nor inexpensive.
However, there are circumstances in which a testator’s Will can be determined to be invalid. Some of the ways in which a Will can be challenged in New York include:
- Undue Influence. If a person, typically a caretaker, pressures the testator into making a Will that benefits him or her, the Will could be invalid. The person pressuring the testator typically has to be in a position of trust or power over the testator.
- Will Not Properly Executed. New York law is strict about how a Will must be executed. There are strict rules about witnesses and who must be present. If the Will was not properly signed and executed, it may be invalid.
- Testator Not Mentally Capable. In order to make a Will, a person must be mentally capable of making a Will.
- Fraud. There are many ways fraud could invalidate a Will. If the testator is told a lie about a relative and changes his or her Will to benefit the liar, that could be considered fraud. If a Will is presented to the testator which does not contain what the testator intended, that could be considered fraud.
These are the most common reasons a Will could be found to be invalid.
If you believe that you have been cheated out of an inheritance and that the Will was invalid, call the New York Will Contest Attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444.
We will be happy to advise you on whether you could possibly have a valid case. Call us to learn more.