I believe that my brother's friend exerted undue influence on him in the execution of his will. How do I prove it in court?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Yonkers, NY

My brother knew this woman only casually . She was not a girlfriend in the traditional sense . My brother suffered from brain cancer . After my brother's third operation to remove the tumor , my father died and I was named the executor of his estate . I attempted to get the estate settled as soon as possible but my brother became impatient and hired his own lawyer . Previously , we had used the same lawyer to assist us , the only beneficiaries , to in dividing the estate . At the same time as he hired his own lawyer , he dropped me as his power of attorney and health care proxy and installed the same friend in these roles . He also had a will drawn up in which he left 70% of his assets to his same friend and her relatives . What are my percent chances of successfully challenging his will in court ?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. 4

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    Answered . What are your chances of prevailing in court? There is absolutely no way to tell you that and anyone who says they can on a message board is full of "it." You need to hire an attorney to determine what evidence, if any, you have that undue influence was exerted. These types of cases are very hard to prove as you would need eyewitnesses and perhaps medical records. Start now if you are serious by having an attorney investigate the case with you.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more
  2. 3

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    Answered . Did your brother die? If NO, any challenge would be premature. If YES, I suggest you consult a trusts and estates lawyer.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
  3. 3

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    Answered . Wait until he passes and then see what the will says. You can retain an estate lawyer at that time to fight the will. Percentages are unknown and premature. Good luck.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more
  4. 2

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    Answered . I have the same concern as my colleagues -- is your brother still alive? Perhaps the woman to whom your brother apparently wishes to give his assets is "not a girlfriend in the traditional sense," but it seems to me that that is not really your concern. Besides, I'm not sure what a "girlfriend in the traditional sense" is. Maybe worrying about what your brother's will says while he is still alive might make you "not a brother in the traditional sense."

    But none of that is your actual question. Your real question is what is the precise percentage of your successfully challenging your brother's will. The answer is 41.2569%.

    Am I serious? No, of course not. But there is a percentage I can provide you with: If your brother is alive (as I think your posting suggests) and he learns of your posting, I think I can predict with virtually 100% accuracy that he will be beside himself with anger at you.

    Good luck to you. And to your brother.

    Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are... more

Related Topics

Contesting a will

You can only claim certain grounds when contesting a will, such as the lack of a "sound mind" or the presence of “undue influence” on the will's maker.

Undue influence and wills

If there is evidence of undue influence, wills can be declared invalid. This may reinstate a previous will, or leave distribution in the hands of the state.

Adrian Philip Thomas

Florida Probate Caveat

CAVEATOR BEWARE:Rocca v. Boyansky, 80 So.3d 377 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012) Matthew Rocca is the grandson of decedent, Sidney Boyansky.Sidney had included Matthew in his estate planning documents... more

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