Can anything be done after death to disbute a will

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can anything be done after death to disbute a will

90 yr old father died. I am 62 and have 57 yr old brother. Just received will and was surprised that father set up a trust fund at the bank for two grown men. We are to receive 100,000 then 2,000 a month from the sale of his house, sale of the farm land apprx 90 acres, and 900,000. When my mother died we had thirds on the land but we signed the land back to my father with promise that we would get the land back when he died he lied. This will was written 3 years ago and my father was having health issues until his death which we took care of him until the end and was making unwise decisions about his daily life and health and now we think he did not know what he was doing with the will because he said we would get the house and the land many times in our conversations. He also forgot some of the grandchildren. Is there anything we can do after death?

Asked on February 15, 2018 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A will may be challenged on the basis that the testator (person making the will) lacked mental capacity (was mentally incompetent; didn't know what he was doing) when he made the will. IF this can be shown, the will can be invalidated in its entirety, which means that if there was an earlier will, it will control; or if there is no will, the property/assets will pass by your state's rules for "intestate succession" (who gets what when there is no will). 
Be advised that such a legal challenge will require medical evidence of incompetence, such as testimony from doctors who treated and examined your father at the time he made the will and who will testify under oath that in their professional medical opinion, he was incompetent for such-and-such reasons. Without such medical evidence or testimony, you have no chance of invalidating the will. Even if successful--and even with medical testimony, success is not guaranteed (after all, no case is ever guaranteed, and never believe any lawyer who tells you it is)--expect that, between attorney and expert fees, you will spend many thousands to several tens of thousands of dollars on the case and it will take months at a minimum.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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