New York’s Fourth Department Appellate Division has ruled against an attempt at revoking a waiver and consent to probate in theMatter of the Estate of Ashley Robert Titus 2007 Slip Op 3435. In this action, the petitioner was a CPA with a Masters in business administration who signed the document before a Surrogate and then claimed that she did not realize that this would forever foreclose her from challenging her father’s will. She had been provided with a copy of the will prior to executing the waiver and consent.
The court determined that her allegations that she did not understand the significance of the waiver and consent were conclusory and unsubstantiated. It further opined that " A party seeking to set aside a probate decree entered upon his consent must show that such consent was obtained by fraud or overreaching…, was the product of misrepresentation or misconduct…, or that newly-discovered evidence, clerical error or other sufficient cause justifies n(the relief sought)"
This decision is simply one more example of the need to get good legal advice before you sign any significant legal document. The failure to make the right choice in an estate matter may be both embarrassing and quite costly. Spend the time– and a few dollars– and sit down with a competent estate practitioner before you make an irreversible decision .