If you are a beneficiary of a New York estate, you likely want to know who can challenge the will when it goes through the probate process. You probably already know that you cannot instantly receive the estate property. However, you may not be aware that anyone who is an interested party can slow the process down while it unfolds.
Interested parties can encompass a lot of people
The number of individuals who can be interested parties is larger than you may think. However, it is not completely unlimited. Anyone whose financial interests may be affected by the distribution of the estate can be an interested party. It would certainly encompass creditors who may be owed money by the deceased. It can also include people who were in previous versions of the will who may have been left out of the subsequent version. Even family members who were not listed in the will may be interested parties in the probate process.
Only interested parties can participate in litigation
The reason why interested party status is important is that it impacts the ability to get involved in probate. If you are not an interested party, you do not have the ability or standing to file any action in court. If there is a large number of interested parties, there is more of a chance that the estate can be held up in litigation.
Probate is a technical process that can be fraught with delays and hassles. Sometimes, you will have trouble figuring out how to navigate probate on your own. If there is a problem during the process, you may require the assistance of a will contests lawyer to help fight for your interests in court. You will especially need an attorney if others have legal help of their own and have brought their own lawyers into the process.