Contested Wills in Minneapolis, Minnesota
In Minneapolis, Minnesota there are particular procedures permitting certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is recognized as a "will contest" or "contested will."
Sometimes, testators leave out of their wills people who might normally expect to inherit a large portion of the testator's estate (spouses, for instance). This might lead them to assume, correctly or not, that the will was a mistake.
If a massive amount of money is involved, someone who was left out of a will, or not given what they were expecting, might believe that contesting the will is worth the time, money, and energy that doing so would require.
As with the initiation of any other legal proceeding, contesting a will is a big decision. It can be time-consuming and expensivee. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among people who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.
When Can a Will be Contested in Minneapolis, Minnesota?
Courts in Minneapolis, Minnesota will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, however, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.
For example, if the will was obtained through duress (threat of some kind of harm), then it is invalid. Duress, however, is difficult to prove. If a named beneficiary was in some position of power or trust with the decedent, and is not someone who one would ordinarily expect to get a large gift in a will, that might raise considerable initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove duress.
Another fact that might invalidate a will is the mental incompetence of the testator. Wills must be a product of a person's volition. A will cannot be honestly voluntary unless the testator knows what they're doing. Accordingly, if the testator is mentally incompetent at the time he or she makes the will, the will cannot take effect. You should be aware, however, that this test applies at the time the will is made. So, if the testator is not mentally competent at the time of death, but was when the will was made, the will is valid.
So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Minneapolis, Minnesota will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Typically, when a will is declared void, the decedent's assets will be treated as if he or she had died without a will. This is known as "intestacy." Normally, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, usually a spouse, children, siblings, or parents. If absolutely no relatives can be found, the property is passed to the state. If there is a previous will, which was revoked by the invalid will, a court might revive the old will. If the new will was found to be completely invalid (rather than just parts of it), it follows, then, that the revocation of the old will is invalid as well. Thus, the old will can be given effect.
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Can a Minneapolis, Minnesota Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a brilliant Minneapolis, Minnesota attorney can help take some of the burden off of you, and handle some of the most difficult aspects of this process.
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Life in Minneapolis
Minneapolis is the seat of Hennepin County and was dubbed the City of Lakes. Many know Minneapolis and Saint Paul as the "Twin Cities." Minneapolis was once world renown for being the worlds' source fro timber and the milling capital. Today, Minneapolis serves as the major business hub between Chicago and Seattle. The city is home to a number of cultural attractions and organizations. A number of book publishers like Graywolf are headquartered in Minneapolis. The theatre, writing, music, and visual art are emphasized though venues, galleries, annual events, and busy art business Minneapolis has to offer.
Named the "Top Tech City" in 2008, Minneapolis is home to the headquarters of 6 of Fortune Magazine's top 500 companies in the world. The illustrious clase of Fortune 500 companies in Minneapolis include Target Corporation, U.S. Bankcorp, Xcel Energy, Pepsi, and Ameriprise Financial to name a few. The big companies fuel the local economy. Target employed more Minneapolis residents than any other company in 2009. Another big employer and attraction to Minneapolis is the University of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, and Minnesota Timberwolves all cal Minneapolis home. The Target Center plays host to the NBA Timberwolves and a number of concerts each year. Target Field is the home of the Minnesota Twins professional baseball team. They won the World Series in 1987 and 1991.