Contested Wills in Apple Valley, California

Find the Right Lawyer Now

In Apple Valley, 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 usually 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 Apple Valley, California?

Of course, a Apple Valley, 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, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, typically 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 reason why a will might be invalid is the maker of the will being mentally incompetent at the time the will was made. In order to make a legitimate will, the individual making it must have enough of his or her mental faculties to understand what they're doing, and the consequences of it.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Apple Valley, 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.

Find a Apple Valley Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:

Can a Apple Valley, California Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because this can involve complicated legal issues, and be very emotionally draining, this is not something you want to go at alone. A reliable lawyer in Apple Valley, California can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.

Contested Will Attorneys in the Largest CA Cities

Show California Cities

Contested Will Lawyers in Other California Cities and Towns


Find the Right Lawyer Now

Top Rated Lawyers

View attorney profiles and see how other LegalMatch users rate attorneys that may respond to your case.

Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer
LegalMatch Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer Tom M.

Tom M.

San Bernardino, CA

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Rating (12 users) *****
See Reviews
Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer
LegalMatch Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer Rodney N.

Rodney N.

San Bernardino, CA

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Rating (9 users) *****
See Reviews
Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer
LegalMatch Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer James B.

James B.

Sacramento, CA

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Rating (2 users) *****
See Reviews
Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer
LegalMatch Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer Kara H.

Kara H.

San Francisco, CA

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Rating (2 users) *****
See Reviews

Need a Lawyer?

No obligation - Lawyers compete for your case. Choose your issue & get started now: