What can be done if my late father signed a Will while he was in the hospital and signed all of his possessions over to his girlfriend?

My dad signed a Will after suffering a seizure while he was in the hospital and gave all of his possessions to his girlfriend. His girlfriend’s best friend works in the law office that drafted up the will and he cut me out of everything. My father wasn’t in his right mind when he signed the will and I have found out through his medical records that he had 2 brain tumors at the time of signing his Will. Would this be enough to contest the Will or is there anything I can do to stop this?

Asked on December 26, 2017 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

This may be enough to challenge the will if there is, as may be the case based on what you write, medical evidence that he was not mentally competent when he made the will: only a mentally competent person can create a valid and enforceable will. (Being terminally ill, being in a hospital, etc. is not relevant; dying and hospitalized patients can create wills so long as they are mentally competent.)
Note that challenging a will on this basis can be expensive: you'd need to pay doctors for their time to write reports and/or testify in court that based on their examination of your father and his medical records and their experience, he was not mentally competent. You could spend several thousand dollars on expert testimony, not even counting attorney costs (and having an attorney for this type of legal  action is *strongly* recommended). Unless your father had enough assets to make a several thousand dollar legal case worthwhile, it may not be cost-effective to take action.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.