Contested Wills in Livermore, California

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In Livermore, California, there is a process through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is recognized 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 commonly 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 Livermore, California?

A court in Livermore, California will not entertain a will contest unless there is a very good reason to do so. But, there are some allegations which, if shown, clearly invalidate a will.

For instance, 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.

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.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Livermore, California will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Typically, 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." Normally, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, usually 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. Thus, the old will can be given effect.

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Can a Livermore, 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 seasoned Livermore, California wills and estates attorney can minimize these problems, and make the process as painless as possible.

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Life in Livermore

Livermore, California is a city in Alameda County. Its population is about 81,000 people. Livermore is located in the Eastern outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is generally considered to be on the border between the Bay Area and Central Valley.

Livermore, California's history of human habitation dates back several thousand years, with the Ohlone tribe of Native Americans inhabiting the area for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. The first European settlements of the Livermore area arrived in the 1770s, when the Spanish established a strong military and missionary presence in the area. After the discovery of gold in California, Livermore became a popular "first day" stopping point for prospectors arriving via San Francisco. 

Modernly, Livermore, California is home of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which, in association with the University of California system and the Department of Energy, carries out cutting-edge scientific research, particularly in the area of nuclear energy.

This facility, besides employing large numbers of engineers and scientists, also employ several attorneys who handle things like employee relations and intellectual property.

If you need a lawyer in Livermore, California, for whatever reason, it's very likely that there's a Livermore, California attorney who can help you with whatever legal problems you might be facing.

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