Contested Wills in Little Rock, Arkansas

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In Little Rock, Arkansas, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is recognized as a "contested will" or "will contest."

A will is normally contested when a family member who expected to inherit a large amount of money or property are disappointed with the contents of the will, especially if the testator's motives are not clear. They will often assume that the will must be a forgery, or a result of fraud or force.

If a lot of money, or some particularly valuable property, is at stake, the person who was left out might want to go to court and allege that the will was invalid. When left out of a will, a family member might naturally assume that some kind of mistake has been made, whether this is really true or not.

You should remember that a will contest commonly results in adversarial legal proceedings, which can be very contentious. Considering the likelihood that other members of your family might be on the other side, it's clear that this can really damage a person's relationship with his or her family.

When Can a Will be Contested in Little Rock, Arkansas?

Of course, a Little Rock, Arkansas court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some instances which render a will clearly invalid.

For example, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, normally physical) is invalid. Of course, duress is very difficult to prove after the fact, and the issue may not even come up until many years after it allegedly occurred, making proof even more difficult. However, if the named beneficiary was in some type of position of power or trust with respect to the decedent, and is not someone who one would normally expect to get a large gift in a will (they're unrelated to the testator, for example), those facts alone might be enough to raise the suspicion of impropriety. Of course, those facts by themselves are not 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.

There are many other facts that might make a will invalid, and thus serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is successfully contested in Little Rock, Arkansas, and held to be invalid, this normally results in the property being distributed as if the decedent had died intestate (without a will). This means that it will usually go to the decedent's closest living relative.

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Can a Little Rock, Arkansas Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a brilliant Little Rock, Arkansas 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 Little Rock

Little Rock is the largest city in the State of Arkansas by any measurement. The City of Little Rock is the most important center of government in Arkansas and acts as the state capital and seat of Pulaski County Government. Today, Little Rock is home to over 700,000 residents who live in the city's 36 diverse neighborhoods.

There are a lot of outstanding museums in Little Rock like the Arkansas Arts Center, William J. Clinton Presidential Center, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, and the hands-on Arkansas Museum of Discovery to name a few. Little Rock's Arkansas Arboretum is one of the most outstanding examples of native and exotic plans around. The Arkansas Art Center offers a museum school in addition to attractions like Van Gogh and Rembrandt pieces. The global hunger, poverty, and relief organization Heifer International operate their world headquarters from Little Rock.

Some prominent corporations and companies like Dillard's Department Stores, Windstream Communications, Acxiom, Rose Law Firm, and Metropolitan National Bank have headquarters in Little Rock. A number of hospital and renown research facilities make home in town. The largest of those include Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Baptist Health Medical Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Other businesses that have major installations in Little Rock are L'Oreal Paris, Timex, Entergy, Raytheon, Siemens, Kroger, Dassault Falcon Jet, and AT&T Mobility.

I suppose it wasn't too shocking for residents when the Brookings Institution ranked Little Rock as the 7th best economy in the United States. It was second best in growth. Don't think rapid expansion has taken a negative toll on Little Rock. It's as gorgeous as ever and even was awarded the title of 2nd cleanest city in America by Forbes Magazine.

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