The Law Offices Of Michael Camporeale

15 Years Of Extensive Experience

Will Contests, Probate And Estate Litigation In New York

If you wish to contest a NY will or are involved in litigating any issue involving an estate in the Surrogate’s Court, in NY the NY probate and estate attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Camporeale can help with such NY probate and estate matters and litigation in the Surrogate’s Court in the New York metropolitan area, Westchester, White Plains, Manhattan, Long Island, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

NY Estate litigation takes many forms. If a NY will is being offered for NY probate, certain formalities must be followed in order for the will to be considered valid.

If a family member feels that the will was not valid and wishes to object to the probating of the will, estate litigation will result.

A NY will must be formally executed and signed in order for it to have legal effect after a person passes. Whether or not a NY will is valid can determine how a decedent’s assets are distributed at death. Often times a will proponent submits a suspicious NY will that cuts out natural heirs for that of just themselves. Unless the natural heir or heirs contests the validity of the NY will offered for NY probate, the document gets deemed a valid will and controlling on how a decedent’s assets are distributed.

In a case that made headlines in NY State and in which took place in Staten Island our probate and estate lawyers represented the natural heirs, the document alleged to be a will and offered for probate in the Staten Island Surrogate’s Court left the entire, substantial Staten Island estate to only 1 child, at the expense of the other children. However, the probate and estate attorneys from The Law Offices of Michael Camporeale argued that the document was not executed in compliance with NY Estate Powers and Trust Law Sec. 3.2-1 and therefore was not valid.

Validity Of A Last Will And Testament In The State Of New York

In New York for a Last Will & Testament to be valid pursuant to EPTL Section 3-2.1, a Will must (1) be in writing; (2) must be signed at the end by the Testator; (3) the testator’s signature be affixed in the presence of the witnesses or that the Testator must acknowledge his or her signature to each attesting witness; (4) Testator must declare to each witness that the document they are signing is in fact his/her Will; (5) must be signed by at least two attesting witnesses; (6) the witnesses shall sign and date the will within 30 days of each other and list their address to their signature. The law and the requirements for a valid Will are very specific.

New York Attorney Michael Camporeale

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (718) 475-9639

Despite all of this, the will proponent still had a chance of having the document accepted as a will by the Richmond County, NY Surrogate’s Court under the common law theory of the “doctrine of ancient documents” if the will’s probate was not objected to.

The surviving children who objected to the NY will retained our office to contest the validity of the will. This resulted in our Staten Island probate and estate litigation lawyers to get the will thrown out of court.

The Richmond County Surrogate’s Court ruled that the document did not comply with the prima facie requirements of a will under NY Estate Powers and Trust Law Sec. 3.2-1, and it further did not fall into the ancient documents exception. Echoing concerns raised by our probate and estate litigation lawyers, the Staten Island Probate Court ruled that the document was suspicious in nature due to the “grammatical errors, unclear statements, hand written nature of the proposed will, and general appearance.” See, Matter of Estate of Neller, 2011-733, Richmond County Surrogate’s Court 2013; and New York Law Journal, “Will falls short of required formality,” August 22, 2013.

Challenging The Validity Of A Will In The State Of New York

By our probate and estate litigation lawyers having the will set aside the rules and laws of intestacy control the distribution of the decedent’s assets. In dollars and cents what it means is that the deceased mother’s estate (house, property and cash) will now be distributed evenly to all the children of the estate and not just to one.

If you ever find yourself involved in any NY estate litigation or are cut out of a NY will that is suspicious in nature, call our NY probate and estate litigation firm for a free consultation. Other tell-tale signs of a will being invalid include:

  • Will which fails to include certain family members
  • Death bed wills when the will directs assets to non-family members
  • Unwitnessed wills
  • Wills of which staples appear to have been removed
  • A long term existing will changed shortly before death
  • When the decedent was ill or mentally deficient
  • Any other reason you may deem a will is suspicious

The Law Offices of Michael Camporeale have been successfully representing individuals in NY probate and estate matters and litigation in the Surrogate’s court in the New York City metropolitan areas of Manhattan, Westchester, Long Island, Queens, White Plains, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island for well over a decade.

Give our estate planning attorneys a call to discuss your case. We offer Free Legal advise to new clients. We also have estate planning lawyers, elder law lawyers, elder law attorneys, Medicaid planning lawyers, NY probate lawyers, and special needs planning attorneys in New York. We have been serving clients in Staten Island, New York, Brooklyn, Bronx, White Plains, Garden City, Melville, NY for well over a decade.

For more information on Contesting The Validity Of A Will In New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 475-9639 today.

New York Attorney Michael Camporeale

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (718) 475-9639

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