My Father passed away before I was born. 6 years later my grandfather (his father) made a will excluding my deceased father and his children. Both grandparents have passed now my uncle wants me to sign a paper saying I will not contest the will and will recognize him as the executor. I want to know is there anyway I can challenge the will so I can inherit some of the estate. They left everything in the will to their surviving children(my aunts and uncles) minus my deceased father.
Well, if your uncle wants you to sign a paper - perhaps a waiver and consent- saying you waive (as in give up) your right to contest your grandfather's will, then it would seem you have a right to contest it. My suggestion is that you take the paper your uncle wants you to sign and a copy of the will, if you have it, to an experienced trusts and estates attorney and get a consultation on your rights and interests and options for protecting them. - Ian W. MacLean
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Family Law Attorney
It is very difficult and expensive to successfully contest a will. You have to show the testator was incompetent when he signed the will or was unduly influenced. Your first step would be to obtain a copy of the will and consult with a probate attorney.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
That sounds like it would be a very difficult challenge. If I understand you correctly, the Will was made when you were 6 years old? I assume that that was a very long time ago? 3 ways for challenging a Will 1) testator lacked mental capacity ( thinking grandpa had capacity here); 2) somebody exerted undue influence on testator ( Will was made a long time ago not a month before he died when he was held up in the 2nd floor house of one of your uncles 3) Will was not executed in accordance with NY's statute of wills ( there is a presumption of validity if it was drafted and executed under the supervision of an attorney.
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I agree with my colleagues. You would have a steep hill to climb, bordering on Mt. Everest, given the limited facts you have provided. You cannot challenge a Will because you do not like what it says. Mr. Kiley has highlighted the bases for contesting the Will. There is nothing in your facts to suggest that any of those circumstances existed, here. If you cooperate with your uncle, there is a *chance* that he may give you a portion of the estate, anyway. Even if he does not, you will have done your part to preserve family unity. A Will contest is not likely to succeed, but it will pit your remaining relatives against you.
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Elder Law Attorney
I agree with my esteemed and knowledgeable colleagues and concur that a will challenge is an uphill battle. That being said, it is important to review both the will and any medical records contemporaneous with the will execution. I would not sign any document without reviewing the facts with an attorney first.
Roman Aminov, Esq.
Law Offices of Roman Aminov
Estate Planning - Elder Law - Probate - Real Estate
147-17 Union Turnpike | Flushing, New York 11367
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This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship has been formed. Before choosing a course of action, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an attorney in your area.
You have no case.....but you do have some leverage. If grandpa wants a waiver from you then the question is " what are you getting in exchange?" make grandpa offer you something in return as he is free tom give to whomever he wants and you have no recourse...but if he is worried then that is the opportunity to negotiate something.
My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.