Contested Wills in El Monte, California
In El Monte, 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 several 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 basic 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 El Monte, California?
Of course, a El Monte, California court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some cases which render a will clearly invalid.
For example, if the will was obtained through duress (threat of some kind of harm), then it is invalid. Duress, however, is difficult to prove. If a named beneficiary was in some position of power or trust with the decedent, and is not someone who one would ordinarily expect to get a large gift in a will, that might raise substantial initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly 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 severely intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be proven.
So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a El Monte, 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.
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Can a El Monte, California Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will can be a convoluted, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a knowledgeable El Monte, California wills and estates attorney can minimize these problems, and make the process as painless as possible.
Contested Will Attorneys in the Largest CA Cities
Life in El MonteEl Monte is near Los Angeles, California and home to approximately 113,475 residents. It is known as a friendly area that lies in the San Gabriel Valley region of east Los Angeles.
Popular attractions in El Monte are the American Heritage Park and Museum, Rose Hills Memorial Park, El Monte Historical Museum, Whittier Narrows Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, American Society of Military History, and The Rawhide Ponies.
Top employers in El Monte include Wells Fargo, Vons, Toyota, Lexus, Cathay Bank, and elementary and high school districts.
El Monte is home to many small law offices, with competent attorneys practicing in most areas of law. If need be, residents may look to larger firms located in Los Angeles as well. Overall, the legal force within and near El Monte, California is very strong and capable of handling all legal inquiries.