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How to Win a Will Contest in Long Island

by Albert Gurevich on November 17, 2014

What to do When Something is Wrong With the Will

Losing a loved one can be emotionally devastating no matter who you are. Unfortunately, many times the sadness that comes with having a loved one die quickly turns to anger, when it is discovered that something is wrong with the will. No one wants to have to dispute a will and most people prefer to think that the will is what best represents what their loved one wanted. However, there are some situations where contesting one is just unavoidable.

One thing that anyone who is considering contesting a will with or without the aid of a Long Island estate attorney needs to consider is that not every situation warrants having a will overturned, meaning not every case is appropriate. Having a will just not be fair is not enough, in itself at least, to get that will overturned. An example of this would be if someone left everything to the college they went to, rather than to their family members. In general, the Surrogate’s Courts in Suffolk and Nassau counties prefer to regard the will of the decedent of being actually representative of how it is that they wanted their property to be distributed.

That doesn’t mean that there are no ways to get a will overturned, however. Technical issues can be one way to have a will get overturned. One example of this is if a later will could be presented, if the signature on the will proved to be a forgery, or if there were not proper witnesses to the will’s signing.

There are other ways to get a will overturned as well when it comes to what the situation surrounding the signing of the will was. Some examples of this would be if the testator did not have the mental capacity to sign the will (such as if they were in the late stages of Alzheimer’s), when undue influence was used on them to change the will or when the decedent was threatened to change the will. Fraud is another thing that could be used to have a will overturned, such as when the testator was presented a will to sign and told it was a totally different document or when they were told the will contained specific bequests when that actually was not the case.

Whether trying to overturn a will for a technical or other issue, gathering evidence is the most essential part of being successful in your case and is the reason why a Long Island estate attorney is necessary to your case. For technical issues, you may need to track down witnesses to the will signing, later drafted wills or even handwriting experts to determine forgeries. For other types of issues, there must be strong evidence when it comes to the mental status of the testator, the relationship between that person and the person who supposedly pressured the testator to change the will or enacted the fraud. Some of the evidence needed here could be testimony from medical personnel or people familiar with the situation. Depending on the basis for wanting to have a will changed, there are very specific things that must be proven. To overturn a will successfully, don’t tackle your case alone. Hire a Long Island estate attorney to handle your claim. Call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.

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What Happens if Property Held Jointly is Still in the Deceased Spouse’s Name?

November 10, 2014

What to Do With Your Deed When Your Spouse Dies Most couples have at least some jointly owned property. Usually it is the family home that is held in the names of both of the spouses with a provision that the entire property goes to the surviving spouse once one dies. Unlike many types of […]

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Does a Will Need Witnesses?

November 7, 2014

Make Sure Your Will is Executed Properly A lot of people assume that their will could be overturned based on something like fraud or being threatened by someone to change it. What they may not know, however, is that failing to follow the proper procedures when signing the will, also known as executing the will, […]

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What Do I Do After Someone Dies on Long Island – Introduction

October 29, 2014

Handling the First Days After Losing a Loved One Nearly everyone is confused about what they should do when a loved one has died. In some cases you may be in shock and be grieving, but it is wise to make sure that everything gets done correctly know to make things easier down the road, […]

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Types of Custodial Accounts and How They Work on Long Island

October 6, 2014

There are situations when someone wants to transfer money or other property to a child and for whatever reason, usually to avoid costs, does not want to set up a formal trust. Transferring money directly to a minor may be difficult for many reasons, including that many financial institutions will not open an account for […]

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Is the Trustee Required to Provide a Copy of the Trust or Financial Records

September 29, 2014

Knowing Your Rights as a Long Island Trust Beneficiary While the majority of trusts on Long Island are handled without any issues between the beneficiary and the trustee, there are times where tensions may arise. A big source of tension can be caused by a lack of information being exchanged between the trustee and the […]

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Is Ingratiating Oneself with an Elderly Person Undue Influence?

September 17, 2014

When is Friendliness with an Elderly Person Crossing the Line One of the more common themes that people argue when they are contesting a will is that someone who has suddenly become a major beneficiary in the will somehow used undue influence to shut out those who were the beneficiaries in a prior will or […]

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Defending a Will Contest on Long Island

September 14, 2014

Strategies for the Executor When Someone Objects There are numerous reasons why a party may want to object to either part or all of a will in Long Island, New York. In some cases, a will objection may just be the result of family dynamics that lead to infighting when the testator dies. In other cases, […]

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How do I Bring Forgery Charges Against Somebody in Long Island?

September 2, 2014

How to Handle a Fake or Tampered Will While not common, wills do get tampered with, and even faked all together, from time to time. Will forgery is not only immoral and no only leads to disputes in Surrogate’s Court, but it is also illegal. In fact, will forgery is a Class D felony in […]

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How do I Fight Allegations of Mismanagement of a Long Island Estate?

August 19, 2014

Make Sure to Protect Yourself as Executor When the testator dies and you are appointed executor, you are facing a responsibility that is akin to having a job. From the date of the death, you have specific things that need to be done to ensure the proper administration of the will. However, there are some steps […]

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