can i contest my father’s will?

my father is 90 years old and has left me and my brother almost nothing in this will. he is still living but I think he has been influenced by my niece – he has left her everything in his will. he has had 2 minor strokes in the last few years.

Asked on August 26, 2016 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, a will cannot be contested while the testator (person making the will) is alive. A will has no effect until the person dies; before that happens, the person could revoke it, revise it, replace it with a new will, or else lose, spend, sell, or give away his assets, so the things the will are supposed to distribute aren't owned by him, etc. Or beneficiaries could predecease the testator and so not inherit for that reason. The will could be made moot in many ways, and/or be changed so that there is no issue or problem with it. It is premature to challenge the will before the testator's death, since the situation now may have nothing to do with how assets will be distributed after death; in legal terminology, the issue is not yet "ripe." The law only deals with actual issues or problems or conflicts, not ones that could occur, but might not; therefore, you cannot challenge the will until your father passes away.


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