Contested Wills in Danville, California

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In Danville, California, 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."

There are numerous 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 major 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.

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 Danville, California?

There are many reasons that a court in Danville, California might invalidate a will.

For instance, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, normally 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 thing to consider is the mental capacity of the person making the will. If, at the time the will was made, the testator was insane or heavily intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be shown.

If the contest is successful, a court in Danville, California might find the will or part of it invalid. Of course, that leaves the question of how to distribute the property in the absence of a valid will. All states have laws that address this situation, normally passing the property to the decedent's closest living kin. All states have laws governing the order in which property is passed on in this manner. Usually, it goes to the spouse first. If there is no living spouse, it goes to the children. If there are no children, it goes to the decedent's parents, and so on. Most laws on this subject are written in such a way that almost everyone will have at least one relative entitled to inherit, even if that person is very distantly related to the decedent. In the very rare case where no living relatives exist, or none can be found, the decedent's assets usually go to the state.

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Can a Danville, California Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will can be a complicated, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a seasoned Danville, California wills and estates attorney can minimize these problems, and make the process as painless as possible.

16 Wills, Trusts and Estates cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in Danville

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Life in Danville

Danville, California is a city located in the San Ramon Valley, in Contra Costa County. It is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, and has a population of about 42,000 people. Danville, California is one of the wealthiest suburbs in the Bay Area, and the country, with a median household income of over $126,000 per year. 

Danville, California's residents are largely white-collar professionals, such as executives and lawyers, who usually work in the larger cities nearby. Some of the most successful lawyers in the region live in Danville, California, drawn to its exclusive country clubs and other upscale amenities. 

Much of the in-city employment in Danville, California is based around retail and healthcare.

Because of its upscale residents, as well as a large numbers of service employees, the lawyers of Danville, California are able to handle a wide range of cases, from highly sophisticated disputes, to relatively simple matters. So, if you need legal services, chances are very good that a Danville, California attorney can help  you.

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