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Bronx Will Contest
The Bronx has a population as of 1,332,650 as of 2010. It is considered the most diverse area in the United States, and it is densely populated with 31,709.3 people per square mile. It’s estimated there are 463,212 households. 61.9% of these households did not have children under the age of 18 living there. The median age was 31 years old. Around 10.6% of the population in the area is ages 18-24. Around 30.7% are ages 25-44. Those aged 45-64 make up 18.8% of the population. Those 65 or older make up 10.1% of the population. Those who are at least age 18 in New York should consider making a will. Unfortunately, when a will is not drawn up by experienced counsel, it is more likely to be contested by family members or beneficiaries of earlier wills. Whether you need to contest a will, or are the beneficiary of a will being contested, you should call the experienced Bronx estate litigation attorney Jules Haas. He has more than three decades of experience handling will contests. He represents those who need to file will contests, as well as proponents of wills and nominated executors who hope to uphold a will.Will Contests in the Bronx
Will contests are proceedings brought by those who have standing, or an appropriate relationship to the decedent and the testamentary instrument to challenge it. You would have standing and have valid grounds to file a will contest, if you have a pecuniary interest in a decedent’s estate. This means you can file if you are an heir of the decedent under New York intestacy laws; these are laws that govern the disposal of a decedent’s property when he or she doesn’t leave a will. You can also file if you’re a beneficiary who would receive less under the will that’s being probated than if there were no will. Our attorneys will not only need to establish standing, but also that you have legal grounds to file an objection with the Surrogate’s Court to stop the will from being probated. We may be able to pursue a will contest based on grounds such as revocation, failure to follow formalities, undue influence, or fraud, among other reasons.
If you don’t have an interest in the will that’s related to money, you’d only be able to object to the appointment of the named executor if you are alleging that he or she was named because of undue influence or fraud. You won’t be able to contest other will provisions.Failure to Follow Formalities
Wills must follow certain formalities to be valid and subject to probate. When a testator, the person making the will, does not follow these formalities, our Bronx estate litigation lawyers can file a will contest to try to invalidate the will provisions. Among other requirements, the decedent must have had what’s called testamentary capacity; in other words, to make a valid will, he should have known the nature and consequences of executing the will, the nature of the property specified in the will, and the natural objects of his bounty and his relationships with them. Will contests may be brought where, for instance, a testator had Alzheimer’s when making the will, and therefore didn’t remember family members or have testamentary capacity to make it.Revocation
Over the course of a decedent’s lifetime, he may have had many fluctuations in his relationships and closeness not only with his friends, but also his family. Sometimes people make several different wills over the decades of their adult lives based on these relationship changes. Accordingly, it may be appropriate for our Bronx estate litigation lawyers to file a will contest where we can prove that the decedent revoked the will that was submitted to probate and made a different, later one that is valid and should be probated instead.Undue Influence and Fraud
There are, unfortunately, situations in which a person in whom the testator places trust, betrays him and exerts undue influence over the testator to coerce him to change the terms of a will. For example, if your second cousin was the live-in caregiver of your grandfather in the Bronx and she isolated him and falsely criticized you and your sibling in order to get him to disinherit you and leave her everything, you may have grounds to file a will contest on grounds of undue influence. In this situation, the court would look at how many, if any family members, had access to your grandfather, the testator, around the time the will was being made, and knew about the will, as well as how reasonable the altered will provisions were and whether your grandfather was in deteriorating health.Consult a Seasoned Bronx Estate Litigation Lawyer
Much may be at stake in Bronx will contests. They should be handled with care, sensitivity, and knowledgeable strategy. Call Jules M. Haas now for a free confidential review of your case at (212) 355-2575 or contact him through our online form. We have more than thirty years of experience providing personal representation and offer a reasonable and flexible fee arrangement.