Can I fight a will that disinherits me?


Q. My father died first, then my mother died years ago. I am the oldest of three siblings. My youngest sister was named executor and my son co-executor. The will, I believe, was changed when my mother had dementia. It said all property would go to the other siblings – not me – except for $50. Can and how can I fight this?
— Disinherited

A. We’re sorry to hear of the loss of your parents.

It may be possible for you to fight, if you want to go there.

If your mother lacked the capacity to execute the will or your siblings unduly influenced her into executing the will that disinherits you, then you may have a cause of action to set aside the will, said Adam Sandler, an attorney with Einhorn Harris in Denville.

“Since your mother died years ago, you should be aware that in New Jersey, you must file such an action within four months of being served with the notice of probate, or 6 months if you live outside of New Jersey,” Sandler said.

If you never received a notice of probate or it was not served within 60 days from when the will was admitted to probate, then those time limits do not apply, he said.

If there was a prior will, a successful lawsuit may “revive” a the prior will, Sandler said. If there was no prior will, then the estate would be administrated under the laws of intestacy, he said.

You should consult with an attorney to determine if you have a cause of action to bring such a lawsuit.

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