If you do not agree with a will in New York, you may want to challenge it. Though a will is a binding document, meaning that the desires of the deceased have to be carried out, a challenge can change this so that alterations can be made. Why would you want to challenge a will?
First and foremost, you may think that someone else convinced the person who passed away to alter his or her will. This is sometimes an issue with elderly people who are suffering from mental disorders and who cannot make rational decisions. Someone close to the person may use what is legally termed “undue influence” to have the will altered in his o her favor, right before the passing, and you may want it to be changed back.
Similarly, if you think a will has been faked or forged, it may be worth challenging. Wills may be faked, for example, if a person does not have a will and a family member sees that as a way to attain property.
On the other side of the coin, you may want to challenge a will because it is too old and it is not the latest version. If you know of a newer legal will that was drafted by the person before his or her passing, one that perhaps trumps the provisions laid out in an earlier draft, you may need to bring it to the court’s attention.
No matter why you decide to step forward and challenge a will, you need to be sure that you know exactly how the legal case and all of the probate proceedings will be carried out.
Source: FIndLaw, “Reasons to Challenge a Will” accessed Feb. 26, 2015