Questions often arise about whether a will is genuine, whether the testator (the person who signed it) was competent to execute a will, or whether someone unduly pressured the testator to make the will.
A person need not be in perfect mental state to sign a will, but must know the "natural objects of
one's bounty” –- the
value of one's assets
and whom he or she
to leave assets to.
Sometimes it is claimed
that one signed a will
under duress or that
undue influence over
the testator. These claims, while different from
saying the testator lacked capacity to make a will, may still raise similar issues, since a fully competent person is unlikely to be deceived by
Whether your loved one passed away with or without a will, an estate proceeding in most cases is a relatively quick matter. If a close family member has passed away, my mission as a lawyer in Manhattan is to ease the legal process, not complicate your responsibilities at a difficult time.
Simply call for an appointment. It's best to bring with you documents such as the death certificate, the will (if there was one), a copy of funeral bills, names and addresses of family members, and, if known, a list of assets that your family member owned.
As a New York probate attorney, most of the
time I can prepare the necessary papers quickly. That means that quite often we can get the executor or administrator formally appointed by the court within just a few weeks of your first visit to my office.