Contested Wills in Inglewood, California

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In Inglewood, 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.

You should remember that a will contest frequently results in adversarial legal proceedings, which can be very contentious. Considering the likelihood that other members of your family might be on the other side, it's clear that this can really damage a person's relationship with his or her family.

When Can a Will be Contested in Inglewood, California?

There are various reasons that a court in Inglewood, California might invalidate a will.

To be valid, a will must be a product of the testator's own free will. So, a will that the testator was forced or tricked into making is not valid, if the probate court finds out about the duress or trickery. Of course, wills are normally made many years before a person dies, so how can a person expect to prove duress or fraud if they suspect it? To begin with, it's not easy. It is possible, however. First of all, it's good to have as much documentation of the testator's affairs as possible. Any written statements concerning their desires on this matter will also be very useful, if there are any. Additionally, if the suspect gift is totally out of left field (property is left to someone that you know the testator didn't like, or barely knew, for instance), this might also support your position that the will was invalid. Of course, the testator can leave his or her money to whomever they want, so these facts, by themselves, will not be enough to prove fraud or 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.

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 Inglewood, California, and held to be invalid, this typically 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 Inglewood, 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 knowledgeable lawyer in Inglewood, California can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.

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Life in Inglewood

Inglewood, California is a city in Los Angeles County. It currently has a population of around 110,000 residents. It is located in the South Bay area of the Greater Los Angeles region.

Inglewood, California is a vibrant, diverse community. It is extremely ethnically diverse, as well as economically. Its relatively affordable housing makes it attractive to working class individuals, and its proximity to the Los Angeles area makes it attractive to middle-class professionals, such as lawyers.

Inglewood, California is noted for being the headquarters of the D.A.R.E. organization, which seeks to educate schoolchildren and young adults about the dangers of getting involved in violence and illegal drugs. D.A.R.E. employs hundreds of people at its headquarters, including several Inglewood, California attorneys.

If you live in Inglewood, California and are need of legal advice or legal services, you should not hesitate to call an Inglewood, California attorney as soon as possible.

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