Will Contest – How to Find Will Solicitors Near Me

Everyone’s final wishes are important, but sometimes the circumstances of a person’s death can make those wishes difficult to determine. If a will doesn’t reflect the true final wishes of someone, then it could be contested on the basis that it was not made properly. A will contest can be based on various grounds, including lack of mental capacity and undue influence. If you believe that a will has not been made properly, it is essential to act quickly and seek legal advice before the time limit for lodging a claim expires.

In New York, this is typically within four months of the date of death, known as the ‘statute of limitations’. If a claim is not lodged within this period, it may be impossible to bring a claim at all.

The first step is to determine whether you have the right to contest contesting a will solicitors near me a will, which is referred to as having ‘standing’. This relates to whether you have a financial stake in the outcome of the case and whether or not you are one of the decedent’s distributees. New York’s laws specify that these individuals include spouses, children, parents, siblings and more remote descendants.

You might also have the right to challenge a will on the grounds that it is forged. This would mean that the handwriting on the document is not the same as the person who wrote it, or that pages have been added or replaced without any evidence of the decedent’s involvement.

Another common ground for challenging a will is that the person did not have the required mental capacity to understand what they were doing, which can be proved through medical records or by examining the person’s behaviour in their last years. This could include if they had dementia or Alzheimer’s, and their symptoms are reflected in the will. Often, these symptoms are not immediately apparent and are only discovered after the will is read by others.

A further common cause for challenging a will is that the person was subject to undue influence by a trusted individual. This would be proven by establishing that the trusted individual had taken advantage of the person and manipulated them into making the will, and that they did not have the required level of mental capacity to do so. In this case, we could use the same evidence as if the person was not mentally competent but in addition, we would also consider the influence of medications, such as sedatives or antipsychotics. These can affect a person’s ability to understand their actions and to be able to communicate with those around them.