Contested Wills in Alameda, California

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In Alameda, California, 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.

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 Alameda, California?

Of course, a Alameda, California court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some cases which render a will clearly invalid.

For instance, 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 substantial initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove duress.

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.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Alameda, California will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Usually, 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." Typically, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, normally 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. Consequently, the old will can be given effect.

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Can a Alameda, California Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve perplexing legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Alameda, California attorney can be invaluable in helping this process go as smoothly as possible.

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Life in Alameda

Alameda, California is a city in Alameda County. Its population is currently about 80,000 people. It is located in the Eastern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Alameda, California is located on two islands: Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island, in the San Francisco bay. Alameda, California is popular with wind surfers, thanks to its proximity to the San Francisco Bay, and the presence of a fairly large public beach in town, which, besides being a good site for wind surfing, provides beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline and the Bay Bridge.

Until 1997, Naval Air Station Alameda was one of the driving forces in the local economy. But it was closed in 1997, during a wave of military cutbacks and base closures that occurred at the end of the Cold War. Nowadays, Alameda, California is a major regional center for wine and spirit production. The alcohol industry is heavily regulated, so these wineries and distilleries hire a large number of Alameda, California attorneys.

If you need to find a lawyer in Alameda, California, you're in luck. There are many well-qualified and experienced attorneys in Alameda, California, who can help you with just about any legal issue you're likely to face.

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