Contested Wills in Downey, California

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In Downey, California, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is known 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.

As with the initiation of any other legal proceeding, contesting a will is a big decision. It can be time-consuming and expensivee. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among people who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.

When Can a Will be Contested in Downey, California?

There are several reasons that a court in Downey, California might invalidate a will.

For example, 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. Therefore, 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.

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 Downey, California, and held to be invalid, this usually 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.

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Can a Downey, 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 good lawyer in Downey, California can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.

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Life in Downey

Downey, California is a city in Los Angeles County, California. Its current population of about 112,000 people.

Downey, California is best known as being the birthplace of the Apollo Program - the U.S. space program that ultimately landed men on the moon. Several aerospace corporations had facilities in Downey, California, such as Rockwell and Boeing. Some of these companies built the Apollo spacecraft and, later, many components of the Space Shuttle. These companies also employed many white-collar professionals, from engineers to Downey, California lawyers.

Nowadays, the economy of Downey, California is dominated by sectors such as healthcare, education, services, and government.

Thanks to its diverse and solid economy, the lawyers who live and work in Downey, California are able to handle a wide range of legal issues. If you need legal advice, a Downey, California attorney can help.

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