Contested Wills in Carmel, New York

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Carmel, NY

It is permitted, in Carmel, New York, to go to court and claim that a will is invalid, in some cases. This is called a Will Contest.

Occasionally, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a considerable portion of the testator's estate (spouses and children, for instance). This might lead them to assume, truthfully or not, that the will was some kind of mistake.

If a massive amount of money or property is being given away, the person left out of the will could rationally conclude that the cost and time of a court challenge is worth it.

Nonetheless, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can commonly foster strife and infighting within families who are already mourning the loss of a loved one. This can permanently damage or alter family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Carmel, New York?

There are various reasons that a Carmel, New York court might hold a will to be invalid.

One big reason to invalidate a will is the fact that the will was made under duress. "Duress" simply means forcing somebody to do something they don't want to, using some kind of threat. Normally, the threat involves some type of physical harm. The most obvious example would involve putting a gun to somebody's head and telling them to write a will containing the terms desired by the gunman. Such a will, assuming the underlying facts can be proven in court, will never be valid. Of course, the validity of a will rarely becomes an issue until the testator has died, which may be years after the will was drafted. This means that proving the circumstances under which the will was made can often be very difficult. However, there are certain facts, such as the devise being to an "unnatural" beneficiary (somebody the testator didn't know very well, for instance), and the beneficiary being in a position of power over the decedent, are enough to at least create a suspicion that something is wrong.

Another thing to consider is the mental capacity of the person making the will. If, at the time the will was made, the testator was insane or heavily intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be shown.

If a Carmel, New York will is successfully challenged and thus invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Normally, if a will is held invalid, all of the property will be treated as if the decedent had never written or will. This means that it goes to the decedent's closest living relative, or, if there are not relatives who can be located, the state.

Can a Carmel, New York Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve complicated legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Carmel, New York attorney can be invaluable in helping this process go as smoothly as possible.

Talk to a Wills, Trusts & Estates Law Attorney now!

Life in Carmel

Carmel, New York is a city in Putnam County, New York. As of the 2000 Census, its population is approximately 36,000 people.

Carmel, New York is home to the historic Putnam County Courthouse. It was built in 1814, and is still in use today, making it one of the oldest working courthouses in the United States.

Carmel is also the site of one of the many heroic sagas of the Revolutionary War, when Sybil Ludington rode through the area all night, warning of an impending British attack. She is often referred to as a female version of Paul Revere.

Carmel, New York is located about an hour's drive from New York City, the largest city in the United States, and many residents commute there for work.

Carmel, given its close proximity to the largest city in the country, is an option for families who want a quiet place to settle down, but don't want to keep the excitement of city life out of reach.

The legal profession of Carmel, New York is served by its close proximity to New York University, and Columbia University. Both of these universities have law schools which are considered to be among the best in the U.S. This means that the market in the area is very competitve for Carmel, New York lawyers.

If you have a legal problem, it's very likely that there is a Carmel, New York lawyer who can handle it.

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