Contested Wills in Foster City, California
In Foster City, California, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is recognized 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 Foster City, California?
Courts in Foster City, 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.
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 considerable initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove 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.
If a Foster City, California will is successfully challenged and therefore invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Normally, if a will is held invalid, all of the property will be treated as if the decedent had never written or will. This means that it goes to the decedent's closest living relative, or, if there are not relatives who can be located, the state.
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Can a Foster City, California Contested Will Attorney Help?
Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a brilliant Foster City, California attorney can help take some of the burden off of you, and handle some of the most difficult aspects of this process.
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Life in Foster CityFoster City, California is a master-planned city situated in San Mateo County. It has a population of about 31,000 and is sometimes held to be part of Silicon Valley due to its local industry. Foster City is considered an affluent community and has been featured several times in Forbes Magazine as well as Money Magazine.
As a master-planned city, Foster City offers many advantages and amenities, such as an efficient distribution of stores, restaurants, and resources. Master planning helps developers avoid "haphazard" construction and city layout. This has contributed to much of Foster's City's clean and pristine appearance. Foster City is also home to a number of attractions, including a boardwalk, a 9-hole golf course, an extensive $4 million Teen Activities Center, and a public amphitheater. Windsurfing is extremely popular within city limits.
Foster City, California is also known for being an important center for many high-tech companies as well as financial organizations. The city is headquarters to many nationally recognized businesses such as Adchemy, Gilead Sciences, Life Technologies, Live365, Philips, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and many others. One can access several points in the Bay Area from Foster City due to its location near the San Mateo Bridge.
Lawyers in Foster City, California often represent their clients at the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo. The court house has integrated much new technology including an electronic document camera. Foster City attorneys are available for assistance in many different fields of law.