Contested Wills in La Mesa, California

Find the Right Lawyer Now

In La Mesa, California, there is a process through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is known as a "contested will" or "will contest."

There are numerous 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 major 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 often results in adversarial legal proceedings, which can be very combative. 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 La Mesa, California?

Of course, a La Mesa, California court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some situations which render a will clearly invalid.

For instance, 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. Nonetheless, 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 heavily intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be shown.

If the contest is successful, a court in La Mesa, California might find the will or part of it invalid. Of course, that leaves the question of how to distribute the property in the absence of a valid will. All states have laws that address this situation, usually passing the property to the decedent's closest living kin. All states have laws governing the order in which property is passed on in this manner. Typically, it goes to the spouse first. If there is no living spouse, it goes to the children. If there are no children, it goes to the decedent's parents, and so on. Most laws on this subject are written in such a way that almost everyone will have at least one relative entitled to inherit, even if that person is very distantly related to the decedent. In the very rare case where no living relatives exist, or none can be found, the decedent's assets usually go to the state.

Find a La Mesa Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:

Can a La Mesa, California Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will can be a perplexing, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a reputable La Mesa, California wills and estates attorney can minimize these problems, and make the process as painless as possible.

22 Wills, Trusts and Estates cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in La Mesa

Contested Will Attorneys in the Largest CA Cities

Show California Cities

Life in La Mesa

La Mesa, California is a city in San Diego County, California. It has a population of about 57,000 people.

La Mesa is a quiet, middle-class community. Its median household income of about $55,000 per year, which is roughly in line with the national average. About 9% of its population lives below the poverty line, which is somewhat less than the national average. La Mesa, California directly borders the city of San Diego, which is the second-largest city in California, and a major economic hub for the area, with industries like shipbuilding, ports, tourism, and the military all having a large presence in the area. 

These industries employ people in a wide range of fields, including many white-collar professionals such as La Mesa, California lawyers. 

Many of these professionals live in La Mesa, California to take advantage of the quiet, affordable nature of a suburb, while still having access to the amenities and economic opportunity that only a big city can offer.

If you live in La Mesa, California, and need legal services, chances are good that there's a La Mesa, California attorney who can help. 

Contested Will Lawyers in Other California Cities and Towns


Find the Right Lawyer Now

Need a Lawyer?

No obligation - Lawyers compete for your case. Choose your issue & get started now: