Contesting a Will

I have two questions. Can a will override a contractual agreement between the person who’s will it is and another party. In other words, if the person with the will makes an written agreement, can he write in his will something that is in violation of that agreement.The other question has to do with this same person who in two previous wills left his property to his step daughters in law with each will indicating that he had already provided for his natural born daughter in his life time but in his final will left his property to his natural daughter instead. Is there any basis for contesting the will based upon this? The property in question was signed over the man by his wife with the understanding that he would will this property to her daughters (the man’s step daughters. His last will violated this understanding. These situations took place in North Carolina. Thank you.

Asked on June 7, 2009 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When a person signs a Last Will and Testament, there is usually language placed in the will being signed that says that all prior wills are revoked.  The latest Will is the one that the heirs try and submit to the probate court.  It sounds like you have a Will contest on your hands: a legal filing of objections to the Will submitted to the Court. You need to have a lawyer look at the contractual agreement and the latest Will.  You will probably want to try and set aside the latest will because of the contract.  That can be difficult and a lawyer will let you know your options.   


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