Challenging a probate

Probate challenges are legal matters wherein you are best assisted by an experienced Probate Attorney. Afterall, it involves complex processes of contesting the validity of the decedent’s (deceased person) will and authority the executor (administrator) of the estate (properties left by the decedent).

Probate proceedings cannot begin until after 10 days from the decedent’s death. This period allows interested individuals, like you, to study, prepare and consult a qualified Probate lawyer for contesting the probate proceedings. You can challenge Probate proceedings on various grounds, such as the executor’s failure to perform his duties or the surrogate court needs to appoint another administrator. Probate challenges oftentimes involve a “Caveat” or an objection to the validity of the will that was not yet admitted for Probate. In these cases, other formal proceedings are required and the proponent of the will has the burden of proving its validity.

Probate officially starts when the decedent’s death certificate and original will are presented to the surrogate court of the county where the decedent died. If you were not able to challenge the Probate or you did not have knowledge of the will and its Probate status, you can file a lawsuit in the surrogate court to automatically suspend the Probate hearings.

Statutes permit you to challenge even a decided Probate within 4 months after the Probate hearings were completed. You can do so within 6 months if you live outside the state. These limitations are some of the shortest in state law, so it is important to not sleep on your rights and be prudent in contacting a Probate attorney to work on challenging the Probate proceedings.