Contested Wills in Costa Mesa, California

Find the Right Lawyer Now

In Costa Mesa, California, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is identified as a "contested will" or "will contest."

There are many reasons why a person might want to contest a will made by a close family member. Sometimes, people will decide to leave money or property to charity, or to other entities who are not closely related. If their family members weren't expecting this, they might assume that something went wrong with the drafting of the will.

If the decedent was fairly well-off, their will might involve a great deal of money or property. This is one of the main reasons, besides a general sense of exclusion, that a family member might expend the great deal of time and money necessary to contest a will.

However, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can frequently foster strife and infighting within families who are already mourning the loss of a loved one. This can permanently damage or alter family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Costa Mesa, California?

Courts in Costa Mesa, California will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, however, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

To be valid, a will must be a product of the testator's own free will. So, a will that the testator was forced or tricked into making is not valid, if the probate court finds out about the duress or trickery. Of course, wills are normally made many years before a person dies, so how can a person expect to prove duress or fraud if they suspect it? To begin with, it's not easy. It is possible, however. First of all, it's good to have as much documentation of the testator's affairs as possible. Any written statements concerning their desires on this matter will also be very useful, if there are any. Additionally, if the suspect gift is totally out of left field (property is left to someone that you know the testator didn't like, or barely knew, for instance), this might also support your position that the will was invalid. Of course, the testator can leave his or her money to whomever they want, so these facts, by themselves, will not be enough to prove fraud or duress.

A will can also be rejected 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 example) at the time the will was made, the will can still be invalidated.

There are many other facts that might make a will invalid, and thus serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is successfully contested in Costa Mesa, California, and held to be invalid, this typically results in the property being distributed as if the decedent had died intestate (without a will). This means that it will usually go to the decedent's closest living relative.

Find a Costa Mesa Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:

Can a Costa Mesa, 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 knowledgeable lawyer in Costa Mesa, 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

Life in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa, California is a city in Orange County. Its population is currently 110,000 people.

Costa Mesa, California was founded in 1953. It was primarily a rural community at its founding, and it gradually transitioned into a suburban "edge" community with a strong economy based on commerce, retail, and light manufacturing.

The largest commercial center in Costa Mesa is the South Coast Plaza, a shopping center of over 300 stores. It is known for its unique architecture and large size. Consumers spend well over 1 billion dollars per year, providing a major driving force of Costa Mesa's economy. The owners of the shopping center typically need legal representation when negotiating and finalizing lease agreements with tenants. The owners, as well as prospective tenants, employ or retain large numbers of Costa Mesa, California attorneys.

If you need to find legal advice in Costa Mesa, California, you should start by seeking out a qualified attorney in Costa Mesa. A Costa Mesa lawyer can probably help you with whatever legal issue you may be facing.

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.

Orange, CA

Wills, Trusts and Estates

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

Stanley W.

Orange, CA

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Rating (2 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 Brian G.

Brian G.

Carroll, MD

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Rating (5 users) ****
See Reviews

Need a Lawyer?

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