I received something in the mail called a “Waiver of Process; Consent to Probate”
Why am I receiving this?
You received this because (1) someone is trying to Probate a Will and (2) you are most likely a distribute [A person who inherits if there were no Will].
Why am I being asked to sign it?
In order to probate a will in New York, the person seeking probate must either (1) obtain this signed Waiver and Consent from every distributee, or (2) go through a longer process of obtaining a court date and serving formal notice of the court date on all distributes. The Waiver and Consent is used to speed up the process when everybody agrees that the Will is valid and should be probated.
What if I refuse to sign?
If you refuse to sign, the person bringing the probate proceeding will be required to get a court date and serve you with notice of the court date. This date is a deadline by which you must formally object to the Will. If you fail to object by the Court date, you lose your right to object to the Will.
What if I believe the Will is invalid?
If you believe the Will is invalid, do not sign the waiver. Contact an attorney immediately. Through your attorney, you can challenge the validity of the Will.
If you received the Waiver without a copy of the Will attached, you should demand to see the will first. It is surprising how often the waiver is sent without a copy of the Will.
Am I losing my rights if I sign the Waiver?
If you sign, you are:
Agreeing that the document is a valid Will.
Agreeing that the person named in the Waiver may be the executor.
Waiving the requirement that you be served with a notice of the commencement of the case.