How does one go about proving the deceased was not of sound mind?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How does one go about proving the deceased was not of sound mind?

My mother changed her Will 2 years ago. My brother and I were left out of the Will contrary to my father’s wishes; he passed first. My mother was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and

dementia. We believe my mother was coerced by my sister. My mother left everything to my sisters 6 sons and nothing to my son and daughter, nor my brother’s 2 sons. My sister is

executor. My brother and I refused to sign off and we got served to go to court on this matter next month.

Asked on June 21, 2016 under Estate Planning, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If there was a medical exam or exams of her at that time, and/or she was under the care of an being monitored by a doctor at that time, and the test results and/or doctor's testimony will show that she was mentally incompetent then, you may be able to successfully challenge the will on this basis. However, since mental competency is based on a medical determination, without some medical evidence or testimony from that time period, you are very unlikely to be able to establish that she was not mentally competent.

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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