Contested Wills in Baldwin Park, California
In Baldwin Park, California, there is a process 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, 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 large 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 Baldwin Park, California?
Of course, a Baldwin Park, California court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some situations which render a will clearly 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.
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.
If a Baldwin Park, California will is successfully challenged and thus invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Usually, 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 Baldwin Park, 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 reputable lawyer in Baldwin Park, California can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.
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Life in Baldwin ParkBaldwin Park is a city located in Los Angeles County. It has a population of about 75,000 people and is a very family-oriented community. Nestled in the quaint San Gabriel Valley of California, Baldwin Park was founded as early as 1860. Its early economy revolved around trade and enterprises along the San Gabriel River. Top employers currently include Kaiser Permanente and the Home Depot. Baldwin Park, California was home to the first In-N-Out Burger stand.
Today, Baldwin Park California is known for being a hub of arts and culture development. The Arts and Recreation Center (ARC) in Baldwin Park is a unique facility offering a variety of specialty classes for families, adults, and children. The ARC has a multi-purpose room, a dance and artist studio, and a banquet hall. Barnes Park Family Recreation Center is a similar facility in Baldwin Park and has received an Award of Excellence.
Many visitors and tourists to California enjoy events at Baldwin Park. A few examples of city events include a New Year's Day Celebration, the Veteran's Day Ceremony, and "Concert in the Park" series lasting several weeks in the summer. The Baldwin Historical Museum is another favorite destination.
Attorneys in Baldwin Park, California often assist clients by offering legal advice and providing representation in court. They have experience in interpreting the unique laws and codes of the city. Baldwin Park lawyers are available to assist the community in a wide range of legal fields and topics.