Can a will be challenged if I think it was improperly made?

It depends.  Whether you can challenge a person’s last will and testament generally depends on whether you are what is known as an “interested party.” An interested party is a person who is what the law calls a “distributee” (i.e., the closest relative who would be entitled to a decedent’s assets if a will had not been executed) or a person who can demonstrate they had a greater interest under the decedent’s prior Will (e.g., an individual named as a beneficiary in the prior will). Additionally, a person challenging a will must generally prove either that (a) the decedent did not have legal capacity to make a valid will at the time the will was signed, (b) that the will was not properly executed, (c) that the decedent was unduly influenced to make the will, or (d) that the will was the result of fraud.  As a general rule, a will signed under the supervision of a New York attorney will be presumed to have been properly executed.

Posted in: Estate Planning and Elder Law