Can a will not be followed?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a will not be followed?

My aunt passed away leaving her to brother’s executors of her Will. She had a house on an acre. She put in her Will that the house nor property not to be sold to one particular person, can we sell the property and house be sold to that person?

Asked on October 4, 2017 under Estate Planning, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The only time a will's provisions may be disregarded would be if you can invalidate the will. This would be difficult, since it would require showing in court, after filing a lawsuit or legal action (and making the showing with evidence) one or more of the following:
1) Your aunt was not mentally competent when she made the will.
2) Your aunt was forced (by threats of violence or criminal acts) to make the will.
3) Your aunt's signature on the will was forged, or your aunt was tricked in some way into making the will (for example, shown will 1; then as she was signing, different will 2 was substituted for it).
Otherwise, the will's provisions must be followed. 

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 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.

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