Contested Wills in Peoria, Arizona
In Peoria, Arizona, there is a process 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, 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 massive 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.
As with the initiation of any other legal proceeding, contesting a will is a big decision. It can be time-consuming and costlye. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among individuals who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.
When Can a Will be Contested in Peoria, Arizona?
There are many reasons that a court in Peoria, Arizona might invalidate a will.
For instance, 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. Nonetheless, 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. Therefore, 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 Peoria, Arizona 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 Peoria, Arizona Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a seasoned Peoria, Arizona 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 PeoriaPeoria, Arizona is situated in both Maricopa and Yavapai counties. It is a major suburb of Phoenix and is home to a population of about 160,000 people. Peoria has grown economically and industrially in recent decades.
The city of Peoria, Arizona is known for developing and incorporating innovative technologies related to water irrigation and solar power harnessing. For example, the Maricopa Solar Power Plant is located in Peoria and was completed in 2010.
One of the main attractions in Peoria is the Peoria Sports Complex. The stadium brings in many tourists, festivals, tours, concerts, and social events. Several Major League Baseball teams use the stadium for spring training and year-round training. The Peoria Sports Complex has contributed to much of the city's growth and economic development.
Peoria's population continues to grow as more and more people relocate there for both work and leisure. In fact, the name "Peoria" has almost become synonymous with leisure living and resort vacations in the state of Arizona.
Lawyers in Peoria, Arizona engage in a number of legal services which assist the city's bustling social and economic scene. Peoria attorneys enhance their skills through memberships in groups such as the West Maricopa County Bar Association.