Can I contest this Will when they pass ? Can I do anything now ?

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Can I contest this Will when they pass ? Can I do anything now ?

My parents are 90 years old and confused. They live with my brother. He had them change their Will to exclude me without my knowledge. Can I contest this Will when they pass ? Can I do anything now ?

Asked on May 9, 2018 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) You cannot do anything now. Wills only come into effect when the testator (person making the will) passes away, since until their passing, the will may be changed or revoked at will and also, the will has no power or effect at all until their passing. Therefore, any issues with the will are premature, but courts only hear challenges when there is an actual, not merely hypothetical or possible, issue in front of them.
2) When your parents pass, the will could potentially be challenged due to lack of mental capacity (if you believe they were not mentally competent when they made the will), and/or duress/coercion (if you believe your brother used threats to make them change the will), and/or possible "undue influence" (if you believe your brother used his access to them and control over them--such as if they relied on him for errands, shopping, taking them to doctors, etc.--to exert unfair influence over them).


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