You attorney would be the best person to answer this question. In many states adult children can be disinherited from receiving anything under a Will. Unless your sister is trying to claim that the Will was executed while your mother did not have the testamentary capacity (mental ability) to execute a Will, I don't understand why they think they have a claim on the estate. I hope your attorney is able to explain this to your satisfaction. Good luck!
It sounds like a messy and complicated situation. Your summary is somewhat confusing, but it seems clear that you have your own lawyer that you should be addressing your questions to. Lawyers are subject to a code of ethics that does not allow us to provide legal advice if you are already represented by an attorney. You should look to your lawyer to assist you with this matter.
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It appears they want to challenge your mother's capacity to enter into a will. Your lawyer needs review all medical records, and to immediately get statements from the attorney that drafted the will, and all of the witnesses, so that he can advise you as to their likelihood of success. You need to discuss the law with your attorney.
If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com
There is a specific process in court when a 'distributee' (disinherited next
of kin) challenges the validity of a will. Either that person will be
successful, in which case he or she is entitled to a share of the estate, or
not, in which case he or she gets nothing. You really need an estate
administration attorney's help.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, P.C.
291 Lake Ave.
St. James, NY 11780
Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
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Based upon what you have written, it sounds like your sister has either filed objections to the Will, or, more likely, is trying to determine whether to file objections. In New York, a "distributee" (person who is next-of-kin to the deceased) can ask for documents and information regarding the deceased and her state of mind, etc., before deciding whether or not to file objections to the Will. The information requested can go back 3 years before the date of the Will and 2 years after. Also, your sister can offer to settle in return for not contesting the Will. I don't know what the will says, but assuming the two of you are the only distributees, then asking for "half of everything" does not sound like much of a settlement offer, because that is what she would get if there was no Will. Whoever the executor is may want to negotiate a much smaller settlement, or not settle at all. If you asked your attorney these questions and did not understand the answers, don't be shy about asking again until you fully understand what is going on. Best of luck!