A recent meeting with one of my clients caused me to think about what it means to contest a will. Some people have misconceptions about who can mount a challenge to a person’s will or estate plan, and how those documents can be protected from such a challenge.
Only spouses and children (known as legal heirs) have the right to challenge a will or estate plan under New York law. For example, if I was married with three children, my wife, and three children would be my legal heirs. I would still be free to leave my assets to whomever I wish, but my heirs will always have a legal right to contest the will.