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When it comes to a will, it must not only be made valid and enforceable, but the executor must also handle the administration process appropriately. If either of these factors is lacking, then this gives a beneficiary, an heir, or another involved party the right to contest the will. In this case, continue reading to discover the deadline you must meet to contest a will and how one of the experienced New York City will attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you in the filing process.

How long do I have to contest a will in New York state?

Unique to most states, there is no set deadline to contest a will in New York state. With that being said, you can contest a will before or after it is offered for probate. If you choose to do so prior, you must file a caveat with the court in the county of residence of the decedent. The caveat must be addressed before being allowed to continue through the administration process.

And if you choose to contest a will after probate, you may file a complaint with the court. Within this process, you and the other party have the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses to support your position, and ultimately, the court will decide on the matter.

What are some grounds to contest a will in New York state?

It is appropriate to contest a will in New York state for any of the following reasons:

  • The decedent lacked testamentary capacity when they wrote the will.
  • The decedent experienced undue influence, such as coercion, threats, bribery, or otherwise induced by fraud, when they wrote the will.
  • There was undue execution, meaning the will contained unclear provisions, was written and signed in the presence of an insufficient number of witnesses, or otherwise.
  • The decedent revoked the original will and there is an existence of a later valid will.

What is the no-contest clause in a will in New York state?

New York state follows the no-contest clause, which means that if a beneficiary or an heir challenges a will and ultimately loses their lawsuit, they will be disinherited and unable to claim what they were initially granted. However, this clause will not affect you if you are not a beneficiary of the will, as you have nothing to lose.

Regardless of which path you choose to take, our skilled New York City wills, trusts & estates attorneys are at your disposal.

Contact Our New York City Firm

If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, or landlord-tenant law, contact Zimmet Law Group, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.