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Aunt contesting my fathers will !!!

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What is the name of your state? New York Yes my aunt is contesting my fathers will and i am the only survivng child and named soul heir to his estate. My father owned 4 car dealerships and 3 computer stores and his estate is 28 million. My aunt is claiming him and her were business partners. I have proof showing my father started the businesses by him self and my aunt has had 6 months to come up with proof and she hasnt. I have a court date in september. My aunt is saying since she and him were business partners i deserve nothing and she deserves everything. I have offered multiple settlements with her but she wants everything. I am wondering what standing does my aunt have in winning showing that she isnt named in the will. Also how many times can she appeal a judges decision. And how long do tese things usually take. I dont see where she deserved to contest a will ive never heard of a aunt getting anything unless named in the will which she isnt i am only named in the will to be heir to the estate. Usually the offspring get the estate.


Senior Member
Your aunt is either trying to extort money from you or has a basis for belief that she had an ownership interest in the business, and thus is only seeking to get her share. I could not possibly tell which story is more credible without evidence.

First of all, if your father owned 100% of the business himself, and she had no interests in it, then as his sole heir you would inherit it all. She is NOT an heir at law and would have no basis for claiming any part of his estate. She certainly has no right to his assets outside the business.

She knows that as long as she can keep the matter open, she can try to get a better settlement, and the more your lawyer bills mount the more you'll want to get rid of her and the hungrier you get, the more you'll give into her demands, even if not justified.

There is always an issue of nuisance value in any case. And many cases also have some merit. Yet, sometimes the more you offer her, the more she may demand.

I assume you are not prepared to give her half the business (if they were equal partners, she'd get half). I know you would not give her the whole business (as if the business was jointly owned with right of survivorship so that the survivor takes all).

You're in court. You better have GOOD lawyers - who are looking out for YOUR interest -- and if not get some. She has the burden of proof. Your lawyers should be completing discovery and then moving for summary judgment if she has no basis for claiming she is a partner. If she is a partner, then the issue is how much of a partner -- all partnerships are not 50-50.

Cases like this can take YEARS however. And not just in New York's Surrogate's Court. If you doubt me, look at Charles Dicken's old novel Bleak House -- the case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce groaned on for decades and outlasted all the claimants.

Dandy Don

Senior Member
Isn't there any mention in the will of what will happen to anyone who contests this will--won't they end up with nothing anyway? She is just trying to stall and delay the probate proceedings, but she will not be successful, since she has no evidence to support her claim. Just be patient--you are in a very strong position and this matter should be resolved completely in a few months. It's sad that people act so irreponsibly when they get greedy, and it only makes things worse for you!!

DANDY DON ([email protected])

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