If you are considering disputing a deceased’s will, it is important for you to know whether you have grounds to invalidate it. Continue reading to better understand what makes a will invalid and how one of the experienced New York City will attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you determine if you have a legitimate case.
What makes a will valid in New York?
A will must be properly executed to be considered valid in the state of New York. That is, it must contain the signature of the deceased that was signed in the presence of at least two witnesses. Otherwise, the deceased must have directed another to sign in their presence. The two witnesses must have also signed as witnesses at the request of the deceased. Most importantly, the deceased must have declared that this document is their will. When an attorney supervises the execution of a will, the proponent of the will is entitled to a presumption of regularity.
What factors can invalidate a will in New York?
Execution errors are the standard examples of how to invalidate a will. However, this can also happen if the deceased had a lack of testamentary capacity, meaning they did not understand the nature and consequences of executing a will, the property they were disposing of, or the natural objects of their bounty and their relations with them. Another sign of an invalid will is if there were substantial alterations made close to the end of the deceased’s life, as it shows that they may not have been at an adequate mental capacity to execute the document.
Outside factors can invalidate a will, as well. For instance, someone may have exercised an undue influence that escalates to a level of coercion that restrains the free will and independent action of the deceased.
What do I do if I notice a will is invalid?
If you are a distributee or beneficiary who objects to the contents of the will or suspect that it is invalid, you may have grounds to contest it. For instance, if you believe someone had a motive or opportunity to perform undue influence over the deceased when they were executing the will, you will need the help of one of the skilled New York City wills, trusts & estates attorneys to do a fact-rich examination of the circumstances.
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Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.