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Will Contests

Will Contests: How to Reduce the Possibility

Wills can be contested. Will contests are typically Court proceedings in which a Court is called upon to determine the validity of a Last Will. The person challenging the validity of a Will is called the "contestant." The person who is defending the Will is called the "proponent." Most Will contests are made by potential heirs who got little or nothing in the Will. Simply being unhappy about a Will or disappointed in one's personal outcome rarely is a good enough reason to challenge it. There must be a valid legal ground for the objection. A New York City will contests lawyer can advise you on this issue.

The typical objections in Will contests are: testator lacks mental capacity; testator was under undue influence when signing; or the Will did not meet statutory requirements. Challenges to the validity of a Will must be filed in probate court within a certain number of days after the person making the challenge receives notice of the petition to admit the Will to probate.

Will contests can be avoided by enlisting the services of an experienced probate lawyer, especially if you think someone could challenge the Will. There are several things a will contests lawyer in New York City can do: The lawyer may ask a physician to evaluate a testator's mental competence. The lawyer may videotape the signing of the Will (before witnesses), and they can put provisions in the Will that would cause the challenger to be left out of the Will if they contest the Will.  Such provisions are commonly known as "no contest" clauses or "in terrorem" clauses.  If such a provision is used in a Will, a person who objects to the probate of a Will forfeits any bequest under the Will if he loses his challenge and the document is upheld.  New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law Section 3-3.5 provides the particulars regarding these clauses.  The statute allows a potential objectant to take a preliminary examination of the attesting witnesses to the Will, the attorney who prepared the Will, the nominated executor and the proponents without forfeiting  rights to receive a bequest.  New York estate lawyers are aware that another method to avoid a possible contest over a Will is to have a person prepare a Living Trust during life so that the probate process can be avoided.  All assets are placed into the trust before death.

As a New York City will contests attorney, I have represented clients in connection with Will contests.  I enjoy being successful on behalf of a client. I work hard to help my clients resolve their legal issues successfully, especially if things looked bad at the outset. I also enjoy working through the nuances of case detail, uncovering something that didn't initially seem obvious and coming to grips with things that can't be controlled so that I can hear a happy client say, "Thank you so much Jules."

I also have many years of experience successfully working with and advising clients in creating and executing wills and estate plans that effectively express their personal desires regarding the disposition and protection of assets. I do this while providing potential tax advantages and security for family and beneficiaries. Regardless of the size of an estate, most adults — young and old — and their families benefit greatly from having a well-prepared estate plan consisting of documents such as a: Last Will, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney and Living Will.

Contact me directly at (212) 355-2575 or by e-mail to set up an appointment with a will contests attorney in New York City.

Client Reviews
I am very grateful to Mr. Jules Martin Haas attorney of law in New York. I am from Buenos Aires Argentina. He managed with expertise a very difficult situation. of a complicate heritage from my aunt Anna Grodzka that lived and died a very long time ago in New York. I recommend him not only for his extraordinary knowledge but also for his kindness. Irma CW Peusner
I found Mr. Haas after being misguided by a former attorney. Mr. Jules Haas took our case which involved an estate/trust dispute. What initially seemed like an impossible and overwhelming legal fight was now in the hands of someone who had the integrity and legal expertise to win our case. Mr Haas' attention to detail and his expert knowledge base, skillfully and successfully guided us through an intricate legal process. I am very thankful and grateful to Mr. Jules Haas for representing our interest and ultimately winning. Bringing about a peace of mind we needed. Thank You Devida Nedd
I was in need of a guardianship attorney and I hired the services of Jules M. Haas' Law firm. The service of counselor Haas and his staff, was very profesional and the case was handled in a timely matter. I would strongly recommend his services Angel Guevara
I strongly recommend Jules Haas. I have worked with him for two years and he has provided so much support and followed through with everything he promised he would do. His support staff is just as helpful! We had an interesting case and he helped to solve each part of it legally and was very thorough. Thank you for everything you have done to finalize our families estate Robyn Stafford
Jules Haas helped me with managing the process in probate court for my father's estate through to its completion upon the sale of my father's house. He was knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in submitting documentation to the probate court, explaining procedures to me, and advising me as to the progress of my case. His support staff was also very helpful. He made what for me created so much anxiety into something manageable where I could see progress every step of the way. His fees were very reasonable. I am super grateful to him for all the help he has provided and strongly recommend his services. Diana Janer
I just completed an estate transaction where Jules Haas represented my client in an estate and he did a great job! He was very quick at responding to all matters throughout the sale process, he was detailed, he was knowledgeable and he was a pleasure to work with. I just recommended him to some new clients who are going through an estate matter and will continue to recommend him. Rodolfo Lucchese