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Can my sister and I contest a will that was not offered for review for over three years?

Aurora, CO |

My mother passed away on 3-1-10. She was on several medications and not in her right mind when her will was rewritten and filed with the state. She had gotten married only eight months prior to a man that, to date, has not followed the instructions listed within the new document or any document superseding it. We are more interested in finding out what to do about the home and vehicles involved. We we're not given any information as to whether we were listed in the documentation. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

More information would be needed. How were the home and car titled? If they were in joint names with the spouse, then there is probably nothing you can do. The Will would not apply to such assets. If they were in your mother's name alone, then probate would be needed. I am not sure why you have waited three years, but that is a very long time to wait to pursue this. I would take advantage of a free consultation and meet with a probate lawyer who can help you determine where you stand.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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Posted

I think there may be some confusion regarding the issues you have here.

Firstly, the time for challenge may have passed due to statute of limitations. That aside:

The grounds for contesting a will are typically mental incapacity or undue influence. These are very hard to prove in all cases because you would have to have evidence of her mental state or the circumstances at the time. If you were not around or not there when it was signed it is hard to prove these.

If the will is ultimately not valid, it is possible that the estate would be divided by state law. This would probably mean that the surviving spouse and her children would share the estate at that point.

If the will is valid and you are not a beneficiary there is not much you can do. You can however probably see the will if you call the local probate court and request a copy. If the will is valid and you are a beneficiary and the will is not being followed by the executor then you can request that the executor account for his actions and follow the will and/or be removed.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/

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Posted

This question is a duplicate posting. Please see my answer for your other post.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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Posted

You need an attorney immediately. A will only controls assets in your mother name alone that dont otherwise pass by operation of law such as joint tenancy. The new husband may have done other bad things.

The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

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