Contested Wills in Chandler, Arizona
In Chandler, Arizona, 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 massive amount of money or property is being given away, the person left out of the will could reasonably conclude that the cost and time of a court challenge is worth it.
Bringing legal action against anyone, let alone a family member, is not a decision that you should rush into. Contesting a will, especially if another family member stands to lose out if you are successful in the contest, can permanently alter or even destroy family relationships. Obviously, this is something to consider.
When Can a Will be Contested in Chandler, Arizona?
There are many reasons that a Chandler, Arizona court might hold a will to be invalid.
To be valid, a will must be a product of the testator's own free will. So, a will that the testator was forced or tricked into making is not valid, if the probate court finds out about the duress or trickery. Of course, wills are usually made many years before a person dies, so how can a person expect to prove duress or fraud if they suspect it? To begin with, it's not easy. It is possible, however. First of all, it's good to have as much documentation of the testator's affairs as possible. Any written statements concerning their desires on this matter will also be very useful, if there are any. Further, if the suspect gift is totally out of left field (property is left to someone that you know the testator didn't like, or barely knew, for instance), this might also support your position that the will was invalid. Of course, the testator can leave his or her money to whomever they want, so these facts, by themselves, will not be enough to prove fraud or duress.
Another reason why a will might be invalid is the maker of the will being mentally incompetent at the time the will was made. In order to make a valid will, the person making it must have enough of his or her mental faculties to understand what they're doing, and the consequences of it.
If you successfully contest the will in Chandler, Arizona, the court will likely distribute the property as if the decedent had died without a will. This usually involves giving it to the closest living relative. While the exact intestacy schemes (the order in which property is distributed to relatives) vary from state to state, they are usually pretty similar. If possible, the property will go to the decedent's spouse, and if the decedent has any minor children with that spouse, it is with the understanding that the money will be used primarily for their care. If the decedent did not have children or a spouse (or outlived them), the property typically goes to the decedent's parents. If neither of them are alive, it goes to grand children, grandparents, or siblings. After that, it typically goes to cousins, nieces/nephews, step-children, former spouses, etc. Intestacy laws provide a line of succession long enough that just about anyone will leave at least one person behind who is entitled to inherit from them, even if they're an extremely distant relation. Sometimes, however, people make multiple wills, to account for the many personal and financial changes that normally happen during a person's life. Normally, the most recent will purports to revoke all past wills, to avoid any conflict between them. In such cases, if a will is entirely invalidated, a court can sometimes revive the second most recent will.
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Can a Chandler, Arizona Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will is often hard, and never fun. However, the whole process can be made more bearable if you have the help of a reliable Chandler, Arizona attorney, and the process will probably be much more manageable.
Contested Will Attorneys in the Largest AZ Cities
Life in ChandlerSince the 1950s, Chandler, Arizona has been growing in population, diversity, and economic growth! Chandler is home to many attractions. For the nature-lovers, the Veterans Oasis & Environmental Educational Center have over 100 acres of wetlands and desert perfect for hiking, fishing, biking, and picnics. Those who love to skate will enjoy spending time at the Chandler Skate Park, a 35,000 square-foot park used by skateboarders and in-line skaters.
A very unique attraction is Rawhide, a 1880s themed western town with shootouts, wagon rides, burro rides, gold panning, etc. Rawhide opened in Chandler in 2006 and has been a favorite of the locals and tourists since!
Chandler's historic downtown is filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries. There is also a quaint garden filled with antique shops and an old-fashioned ambiance. On the first Wednesday of every month, local artists display their work for everyone to enjoy, and hopefully buy. Located near downtown is Chandler Historical Museum, a museum free to the public with many exhibits displaying the city's rich history.
Chandler is also famous for the Ostrich Festival and Jazz Festival. The Ostrich Festival is a family event with ostrich races and other "ostrich-themed" activities. There is also music, parades, a carnival, and great food. The Festival originates from the city's tradition of Ostrich Ranching. Similarly, the city has an annual traditional event-the Jazz Festival. This is a weekend long event where many jazz musicians showcase their talent for the public to enjoy!
Since Chandler is viewed as one of Phoenix's most prominent suburbs, residents of Chandler have access to the large firms and legal market of Phoenix. Additionally, there are many smaller firms and solo-practitioners with law offices located in Chandler, guaranteeing attorneys who are focused on zealously representing their clients. Therefore, everyone's legal needs are met. Moreover, Chandler residents are fortunate to have a more personalized and service-oriented approach to address their legal needs.