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Queens Will Contest
Queens is a New York City borough located on Long Island. With the largest economy of all the boroughs, it has a population of 2,405,464. Leading causes of deaths in Queens in 2017 include heart disease, cancer, accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes, stroke, flu, hypertension, septicemia, and Alzheimer's. Regardless of their age or health, Queens residents over age 18 should consider making a will. Unfortunately, after a death, family members and loved ones may be unhappy with the terms of the will that was made. Under certain circumstances, they may be able to bring a will contest to challenge the will's terms. If you need legal representation after a loved one's death because you dispute his will or need to defend against a challenge to a will, you should call experienced Queens will contest lawyer Jules M. Haas. He represents those who hope to bring will contests, as well as nominated executors and proponents of wills who want wills probated and upheld.Queens Will Contest
Will contests are estate litigation proceedings in which a decedent's last will is contested in court. Not everyone can contest a decedent's will. Only those with standing and valid legal grounds to object can bring a will contest to challenge the validity and probate of the will. You may have standing if you had a pecuniary interest, or monetary interest, in a decedent's will.
You may be able to contest a will, for example, if you are a distributee or beneficiary, who would receive less under the will being offered into probate than you would if there were no will or than you would have under a prior last will. If you are a distributee or a beneficiary who doesn't have a pecuniary interest, you would only be able to object to the named executor being appointed, if he or she was named as an executor through undue influence or fraud or was unfit to serve as a fiduciary.
Often will contests are brought because a potential heir did not receive the bequest he or she was expecting.Legal Grounds to Contest a Will in Queens
Someone who has standing to contest a will can object to the will in Surrogate's Court to try to stop it from being probated on a range of legal grounds. These grounds include lack of testamentary capacity, improper execution, revocation, incapacitation, undue influence, and fraud.
An attorney may believe there are grounds to contest a will, for example, if the testator suffered from Alzheimer's and therefore lacked testamentary capacity to execute his last will and testament. A testator needs to be at least age 18 and needs to have the mental capacity at the time the will is executed to understand what it means to make it. Testamentary capacity is determined by looking at (1) whether the testator understood what it meant and what would follow from executing the will, (2) whether the testator knew what his property was and the extent of it, and (3) whether the testator understood who would be considered the natural objects of his or her bounty and the nature of those relationships.
Likewise, if undue influence was exerted upon the testator to make a will with specific provisions to benefit the influencer, the will could be invalidated. Influence is considered undue if it constituted a moral coercion that restricted independent action and negated the testator's free agency or constrained what he could do of his own free will and desire. Undue influence is typically difficult to prove since it is often based upon circumstantial evidence. Professional guidance in these cases is essential.Consult a Seasoned Will Contest Lawyer
Whether you need to bring a will contest or you need to protect your interests with regard to a will being probated, you should call seasoned Queens will contest attorney Jules Haas. Mr. Haas has represented clients for more than four decades and can assess your legal grounds to pursue or fend off a will contest. Call him at (212) 355-2575 or contact us through our online form. We offer reasonable and flexible fee arrangements.