Contested Wills in Escondido, California
In Escondido, 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 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 Escondido, California?
Of course, a Escondido, California court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some situations which render a will clearly invalid.
For example, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, usually 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. However, 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 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 Escondido, California will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Generally, 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." Usually, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, typically 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. Therefore, the old will can be given effect.
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Can a Escondido, California Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will can be a confusing, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a good Escondido, California wills and estates attorney can minimize these problems, and make the process as painless as possible.
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Life in EscondidoEscondido is located in San Diego County, California. The name "Escondido" is a Spanish word meaning "hidden". This is in reference to the city being situated in a valley and bordered by scenic hills. Escondido has a population of about 144,000 and is growing at a rapid rate.
Many major business and companies have their headquarters in Escondido, California. Some of the major employers for Escondido residents include Stone Brewing Company, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Escondido's population growth is supported by the presence of several residential communities, including Hidden Trails and Valley Center.
Escondido, California is an excellent city for leisure and entertainment. The downtown area features a number of cafes, art galleries, and restaurants. During the spring and summer seasons, the city hosts "Crusin' Grand", which is a public automobile show held every Friday. Crusin' Grand features ultra-hip hot rods, historic cars, and live DJ music. Other fun events include the Grape Day Parade and Festival, the Community Wellness Expo, and an Independence Day Celebration.
Lawyers in Escondido assist their clients through a variety of legal services. Escondido, California attorneys also contribute to the community through participation in city planning and development projects. Escondido lawyers are knowledgeable of the various laws and regulations that are unique to the city.