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Can I Contest My Parent’s Will?

A will contest can be filed with the New York Surrogate’s Court after the death of your parent. You should act quickly before the hearing date of the petition for probate of the will.  In order to be successful, you will need sufficient grounds to contest the will. An experienced and knowledgeable New York estate and probate attorney can determine if the will is valid,  explain the procedure and represent you in the matter.

You will need to establish one of the following grounds in order to be successful:

•    All or a portion of the testator’s will was invalid under New York laws
•    The testator was mentally incapacitated or not of sound mind at the time of the making of the testator’s will
•    There was undue influence, fraud or duress

You cannot just contest a will because your parent decided not to include you in the will or gave the estate to charity, a second spouse or other family members. When you are bringing a will contest, it is important that you establish the state of mind of your parent at the time the will was made, either though medical records or witness testimony or demonstrate that a caregiver had undue influence over your parent’s decision to leave the bulk of the estate to the caregiver. The attorney can help you obtain your parent’s medical records and interview witnesses in order to argue your case and help you win.

If you are involved in a will contest matter or need representation in connection with a New York probate or other New York estate matter speak to a New York estate attorney. Call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.