Contested Wills in Tempe, Arizona
In Tempe, Arizona, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is known as a "contested will" or "will contest."
A will is usually 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 typically assume that the will must be a forgery, or a result of fraud or force.
If a large 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.
As with the initiation of any other legal proceeding, contesting a will is a big decision. It can be time-consuming and expensivee. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among people who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.
When Can a Will be Contested in Tempe, Arizona?
There are several reasons that a Tempe, Arizona court might hold a will to be invalid.
For example, if the will was obtained through duress (threat of some kind of harm), then it is invalid. Duress, however, is difficult to prove. If a named beneficiary was in some position of power or trust with the decedent, and is not someone who one would ordinarily expect to get a large gift in a will, that might raise significant initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove duress.
Another thing to consider is the mental capacity of the person making the will. If, at the time the will was made, the testator was insane or severely intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be proven.
So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Tempe, Arizona will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Generally, 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." Usually, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, typically 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 If there is a previous will, which was revoked by the invalid will, a court might revive the old will.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. Therefore, the old will can be given effect.
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Can a Tempe, Arizona Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will can be a perplexing, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a good Tempe, Arizona wills and estates attorney can minimize these problems, and make the process as painless as possible.
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Life in TempeTempe is located in Maricopa County in Arizona. It has a population of about 175,000 and was incorporated in the year 1894. Its name comes from the "Vale of Tempe" located in Greece. Tempe is known for being the headquarters for several prominent corporations.
The economy of Tempe is comprised mainly of large corporations which have their headquarters in the city. For example, companies such as U.S. Airways and Insight Enterprises have their executive headquarters in Tempe. Cold Stone Creamery, a popular ice cream franchise, was originally located in the city. In addition, Tempe is home to Arizona State University at Tempe, where the Insight Bowl is held every year.
Residents of Tempe enjoy great performance in the arts at the Gammage Auditorium and the Tempe Center for the Arts. Also, visitors frequently enjoy shopping in Tempe's retail district, located at Mills Avenue and at Arizona Mills, one of the largest shopping malls in the state. The Tempe Marketplace is where you can go for excellent outdoor festivals and concerts.
Lawyers in Tempe, Arizona typically file legal claims at the Tempe Municipal Court. The municipal court handles a wide range of legal issues and ordinance violations. Tempe lawyers also participate in a variety of exciting civic and community service events.