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Court Rules on Will Contest Case


The brother of the deceased contested to the validation proceeding requesting to dismiss the objections and accept the proposed evidence to probate. The will offered for proceeding claims that the estate shall be equally shared by the deceased person’s mother and brother, assigned as the executor. If either individual die before him, the surviving individual will be the beneficiary. Subsequently, his mother is already dead and he still has a wife.

The wife opposed the argument of her brother-in-law and brings in another argument to its proposed evidence. She state that the evidence offered to validate the will was not duly performed as required by the law. At the time her husband acknowledge the will, if such was in fact made, he did not declare to at least two of the attesting witnesses that the said paper offered for validation was his last will and testament. He did not request that said witnesses to be witnesses and if he signed the will, he did not do so in the presence of the said witnesses nor did he acknowledge to each of them that said subscription appearing on such paper had been made by him. In addition, her husband did know, understand or was aware of the content; meaning and/or consequences of the paper writing presented to him for implementation, if he does implemented the same.

A New York Probate Lawyer explained that in support of the motion to accept the will to validate, the brother submits his own affidavit, the testimony of a witness to the will, the affidavit of the witness and the affirmation of counsel. The wife also submits her own affidavit, the affirmation of counsel, the same testimony of the witness, a draft of the last will and testament and the affirmation of counsel.

There were three witnesses to the proposed will and two of them were already dead. The first witness testified that she was a co-worker of the deceased mother and stated that she knew the deceased by reason of his occasional visits to his mother at the office. They also engaged in casual conversations. She also stated that she worked in the same room in close proximity with the other two witnesses. In her testimony, she doesn’t remember the things clearly and she wasn’t sure of the occasion but she thinks that together with the other witnesses, they witnessed the signing of the will.

Long Island Probate Lawyers explained that the affidavit of the brother stated that upon his brother’s passing, he, his wife, and his sister-in-law were present in his brother’s residence when the safe was opened. In addition, he states that they found, in the safe, the proposed document now being offered for validation among other personal effects.

In the wife’s affidavit, she stated that she had been informed that her brother-in-law located a purported last will and testament from a safe in their house. That after her husband passed away, they retrieved the documents from her husband’s safe so that they could obtain papers relating to her husband’s service in the army that were required for his funeral arrangements. When the documents were retrieved from the safe, her brother-in-law advised her that he located his grandfather’s will and his own birth certificate. He asked the wife if he could have the documents and the wife told him that he could have his grandfather’s will and his birth certificate. At no time did her brother-in-law ever locate or claim to locate any document purporting to be her husband’s last will and testament from the safe.

In addition, Westchester County Probate Lawyers said the allegation of her brother-in-law that the purported will was found in the safe is a total fabrication. There is a considerable question at issue as to the location at which the supposed document was located and when.

The attorney states that the deceased requested him to draft a will, leaving all his property to his wife other than certain and personal items. The deceased specifically told the attorney that he had never made any will and he wanted to create one for the protection of his wife.

Based on the record, the execution of the proposed evidence was not supervised by an attorney. Moreover, the testimony of the surviving attesting witness was given more than forty (40) years after the completion of the said evidence, does not directly support a finding of due execution as she could not recall certain of the elements. Under such circumstances there are issues of fact as to due execution. Accordingly, the action for dismissing the objections is denied.

In order to secure your family members’ rights over inheritance, proper procedure must be observed. If you have any doubt on what is the right thing to do, feel free to consult our team of skilled legal counsel at Stephen Bilkis and Associate. They will provide you with the help you need to make sure no error are committed.

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