Long Island probate lawyers provide assistance when a last will and testament is contested during the probate process. Our legal team can represent the executor of an estate as well as heirs or beneficiaries who wish to argue that the will is a valid reflection of the wishes of the deceased that should be probated. Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can also represent those who wish to contest a will and who will need to craft precise legal arguments explaining the legitimate reasons why a will should be contested.
If you are making an estate plan, however, you may be concerned about the possibility that someone will contest a will. After all, you do not want to go through the trouble of making your preferences known for the disposition of your assets, only to have your will contested after you have passed away when it is too late for you to prove that the will is actually an accurate reflection of what you want your legacy to be.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can provide you with help if you are making an estate plan. We can assist you in taking the necessary steps to reduce the chances of a successful will contest during the probate process. Whether you need help from an estate planning lawyer or from Long Island probate lawyers, you should give us a call today to find out about the ways in which our legal team can help you.
How Can You Reduce the Chances of a Will Being Contested?
To reduce the chances of a will being successfully contested, you need to know the laws in New York for making a will and you need to follow all recommended rules for the creation of a will. You should also avoid mistakes and problems that could increase the likelihood the court will determine your will wasn’t a valid one.
Some of the specific ways that you can reduce the chances of a will being contested include the following:
- Including a no contest clause: These are also called an In Terrorem clause. New York recognizes this type of clause in Estates, Powers and Trusts Law section 3-3.5. Under New York’s no contest clause, a person who would otherwise inherit and who unsuccessfully challenges a will is not going to be allowed to inherit. This discourages anyone from contesting a will unless they are confident they can prevail.
- Making your plans early: If you make your estate plan while you are young and in good health, this provides far less opportunity for allegations to be raised that you were tricked or coerced into making a will.
- Getting legal help: An experienced attorney can advise you on the legalities of your proposed will and can help you to understand the rules and limitations associated with creating a will so you do not make mistakes that could render the will an invalid one.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can guide you though taking other steps as well, which may be appropriate to your specific situation. You could also consider other methods of transferring assets, such as trust creation, joint ownership and pay-on-death accounts – none of which are as likely as a will to be successfully contested.
What Happens if a Will is Contested?
When a last will and testament is contested, the person who is contesting a will will need to prove to the probate court why the will should be declared invalid. There are many possible reasons why a will would be declared invalid, from proof that it was made under duress to proof it was made when the creator was no longer of sound mind.
If a will is successfully contested, the will is not going to be probated. This means that the instructions which were left in the last will and testament will not be followed. If he deceased had actually intended for that will to determine who inherited, he would have lost the chance to control his legacy due to the successful will contest.
Getting Help from Long Island Probate Lawyers
To find out more about what is involved in contesting a will and what you can do to reduce the chances of your last will and testament being contested, you can join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online to get personalized advice from Long Island probate lawyers about the process of contesting a will during probate. Give us a call today to get advice from a knowledgeable legal professional.