Connecticut Phone: 203-661-5222 | New York Phone: 914-397-2400 | Florida Phone: 239-302-2768

Your Leading Estate Planning, Taxation, Real Estate and Trust & Estate Litigation Firm.

ABA American Bar Association NYSBA WCBA Worcester County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association CTLA ASPPA

Key contributors in dueling will cases

Though it does not happen often, there are certain situations where a testator may have more than one will for an estate. In such cases, beneficiaries may find themselves on opposite sides of a will contest

In order to win a will contest it is important to understand what it entails. In regard to a dueling will case, there are a few key contributors to be aware of.


If a will is in place and a party discovers another will, the party must present the will within the allotted timeframe, usually four years after probate. As long as the party submits the alternate will within the timeframe, the courts may consider it. Should the newly discovered will be newer than the old will, the courts may deem it the correct version to administer.

Key verbiage

A common concern for any will is that it meets the law. Connecticut's will laws strictly detail the requirements for the creation and implementation of a will. If both wills do not fully meet the requirements, the courts may determine that the will that does is the correct one to use, regardless of dates. However, if both wills meet the will stipulations, the courts may examine them and look for specific verbiage in either document that may help to eliminate or elevate one or the other. For example, if the newer will states the revocation of previous wills, the second will would stand as the valid option.

Other content

If the verbiage does not indicate the right will to use, the courts may examine the two documents to determine the differences. When the wills show minor differences between the two, the court usually determines the newer version to be valid. On the other hand, if the two documents show major differences, the courts usually lean towards their process when there is no will in place, and go with the option that leaves the most assets to the immediate family.

These are a few key contributions to understand and be aware of. Those with additional questions may consider consulting with a knowledgeable attorney.


No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Greenwich Office
25 Field Point RD
Greenwich, CT 06830

Phone: 203-661-5222 CT
Fax: 203-661-1197
Greenwich Office Location

White Plains Office
1 North Lexington Avenue
Suite 701
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-397-2400 NY
Fax: 914-437-6354
Map & Directions

Bridgehampton Office
2317 Montauk Highway
Bridgehampton, NY 11932

Phone: 203-661-5222 CT
Fax: 203-661-1197
Map & Directions

Naples Office
500 Fifth Avenue South
Suite 526
Naples, FL 34102

Phone: 239-302-2768
Fax: 239-325-1813
Map & Directions