Contested Wills in Yuma, Arizona
In Yuma, 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 Yuma, Arizona?
There are various reasons that a Yuma, Arizona court might hold a will to be invalid.
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 Yuma, 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 Yuma, Arizona Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a seasoned Yuma, Arizona attorney can help take some of the burden off of you, and handle some of the most difficult aspects of this process.
Contested Will Attorneys in the Largest AZ Cities
Life in YumaWith a population of just under 80,000 Yuma, Arizona is one popular city to live and work. Because of the beautiful weather and location, over 85,000 retirees make the Yuma metropolitan area their home at least part of the year. In fact, Yuma is considered the sunniest place on earth according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Catering to both their older and younger residents, Yuma has numerous golf courses, spas, malls, parks and other recreation centers. The picturesque city takes advantage of its location on the Colorado River and residents and visitors can enjoy the River by kayaking down on the weekend.
Yuma is home to a number of educational facilities including a branch of Northern Arizona University and the University of Phoenix. With such an emphasis on education, it is of little surprise that so many great lawyers choose to live and practice in Yuma. Yuma lawyers are some of the best in the business and enjoy the sunny city and helping their client resolve his or her legal issue as quickly as possible.