If my father’s Will was changed less than 2 weeks before his passing while he was on a number of pain meds, is there a case to be made against the lawyer for allowing this to happen?

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If my father’s Will was changed less than 2 weeks before his passing while he was on a number of pain meds, is there a case to be made against the lawyer for allowing this to happen?

Asked on May 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There would be a case against the lawyer only if the lawyer him/herself benefitted from the change (e.g. was made a beneficiary). Otherwise, if the lawyer him/herself did not do wrong (such as by taking advantage of your father's state), the lawyer is not resonsible: lawyers are not required to inquire into their client's mental state, and are not "their client's keepers" and do not have to keep their clients from making bad decisions.

However, if your father was not mentally competent at the time the will was made, you be able to challenge the *will* and have it set aside. If you think he was not competent at the time due to the meds, speak with a probate attorney about possibly challenging the will.


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