Contested Wills in Mesa, Arizona

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In Mesa, Arizona, there is a process through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is identified as a "contested will" or "will contest."

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

If a considerable amount of money or property is being given away, the person left out of the will could rationally 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, particularly if another family member stands to lose out if you are successful in the contest, can permanently alter or even destroy family relationships. Evidently, this is something to consider.

When Can a Will be Contested in Mesa, Arizona?

A court in Mesa, Arizona will not entertain a will contest unless there is a very good reason to do so. But, there are some allegations which, if shown, clearly invalidate a will.

For instance, a will which was not made under the testator's own volition and free will is not valid. This means that the testator must be acting voluntarily throughout the entire process of making his will. Thus, a will made under duress (force, or threat of force) will not be given effect. In order to show duress, you generally need to first prove that the person named in the will was in a position of trust and power over the decedent, and that they are an "unnatural beneficiary" (someone who you would not normally expect to receive a gift under a will, usually because they are not related to, or close friends with, the testator). These facts, taken alone, are never enough to definitively prove that duress occurred. They are, however, usually enough to suggest that something strange is going on, and warrant further investigation.

Because a testator must know what they are doing in order to write a valid will, the testator must be of sound mind at the time the will is made. Essentially, if a person is unaware of what they're doing, and the consequences of their actions, they can't make a legitimate will. This can be due to mental illness, or intoxication. Of course, if it's a result of intoxication, the testator can simply sober up and then make a perfectly valid will.

There are many other facts that might make a will invalid, and therefore serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is effectively contested in Mesa, Arizona, and held to be invalid, this typically 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 Mesa, Arizona Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because this can involve complicated legal issues, and be very emotionally draining, this is not something you want to go at alone. A reliable lawyer in Mesa, Arizona can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.

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Life in Mesa

Mesa is a Maricopa County city that's home to 440,000 Arizona residents. That population earns Mesa the title of 3rd largest city in the state behind nearby Phoenix and Tucson. Mesa serves as a ?bedroom community' meaning that many Mesa residents work in nearby cities. One positive thing about the bedroom community is that a number of good schools in the area like the Maricopa Community College. It's the largest of any Maricopa County Community Colleges. Arizona state University and A.R. Still University both operate small campuses in Mesa. Mesa Public Schools are the top employer although Banner Health and Boeing both have strong installations together employing over 12,500. Boeing actually produces the Apache AH-64 attack helicopter at a facility adjoining Falcon Field.

Mesa hosts the WAC Baseball Tournament and the Chicago Cubs spend spring training playing Cactus League games at HoHoKam Park. The upscale Fiesta Mall on the Westside of Mesa offers outstanding shopping for locals and tourists alike. However, Mesa Riverview on the Northside of the city boasts funky stores and eateries like Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill. METRO Light Rail, local freeways like local U.S. Route 60, and a number of local airports service Mesa's commuters.

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