Contested Wills in Scottsdale, Arizona

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In Scottsdale, 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 usually 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 Scottsdale, Arizona?

There are many reasons that a court in Scottsdale, Arizona might 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.

A will can also be denied because the decedent was not mentally competent to draft it at the it was made. A court will look at the person's mental capacity at the time the will was made, so even if the testator is now perfectly sane, if he or she was incapacitated for whatever reason (by way of intoxication, for instance) at the time the will was made, the will can still be invalidated.

If a Scottsdale, Arizona will is successfully challenged and thus invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Normally, if a will is held invalid, all of the property will be treated as if the decedent had never written or will. This means that it goes to the decedent's closest living relative, or, if there are not relatives who can be located, the state.

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Can a Scottsdale, Arizona Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a seasoned Scottsdale, 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 Scottsdale

Located in Maricopa County, Scottsdale is truly one of the desert state's gems. With a population of 245,000 the sizeable city is a vacation destination for many people across the country. Not surprisingly, Scottsdale has more spas than any other city in the country, a number that sees spa-seekers visiting the city year round for some much needed rest and relaxation.

Scottsdale is often described as the "South Beach in the desert" because of the busy nightlife scene and many luxury hotels that the Arizona city has to offer. And what nightlife is complete without many of the nation's top cities to serve the clientele before their night on the town. Scottsdale sits in the middle of two other popular Arizona cities -- Phoenix and Paradise Valley.

Scottsdale is also famous for the many golf courses the city has to offer beginners and professionals. In fact, the Robb Report dubbed Scottsdale "The Best City to Live in for Golf." In addition to golf, Scottsdale is home to many professional and minor league sports teams. The Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Phoenix Suns (NBA), Phoenix Coyotes (NHL), and Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) all call Scottsdale home. 

Scottsdale also has some college charm as it is home to Arizona State University. The Sun Devils have a great law school that produces many of Scottsdale's top lawyers. WIth a city of this size, Scottsdale lawyers are skilled in a range of practice areas to serve their clientele ranging from professional athletes, to a citizen with an everyday legal question.

Scottsdale is a wonderful city to work, play, and relax in and the desert climate makes it a great place to be any month of the year!

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