Every New York adult should plan for the future by having an estate plan.
A last will and testament is one of the most basic parts.
However, once the person is gone, and the circumstances regarding the creation of the will are fully known, the heirs may have valid reasons for contesting it.
These are a few grounds for which to do so.
Undue Influence is one of the most common grounds to contest a will.
Indeed, Undue Influence can render a will invalid when the will is the product of manipulation.
For example, if a person is improperly pressured into making a will that leaves their assets to the person exerting the pressure, or as a result of improper pressure a certain beneficiary is omitted for the will, there may be the presence of Undue Influence.
Lack of Due Execution
A last will and testament is only valid if the testator followed all the proper steps required in creating it.
If the will was not witnessed or signed properly and in accordance with the statutory requirements, it is invalid.
Moreover, the validity of a will can be challenged based on the grounds that it was not Duly Executed.
Lack of Testamentary Capacity
A person must have their full mental faculties when they create their will.
For example, someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may have periods of time when they have some mental clarity, but if they were in the later stages of cognitive decline, they might not have had the ability to understand that they were making a will; how it operated; or a host of other factors that could render the will invalid.
A person cannot be under duress at the time they created their last will and testament.
For example, a person blackmails the testator at the time when they are about to create their will, threatening to expose an affair they had unless they leave them certain assets. The testator caves and adds that person to the will instead of leaving those assets to their spouse or child.