Contested Wills in Pasadena, California

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Pasadena, CA

In Pasadena, 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 various 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 a lot of money, or some specifically valuable property, is at stake, the person who was left out might want to go to court and allege that the will was invalid. When left out of a will, a family member might naturally assume that some kind of mistake has been made, whether this is really true or not.

Nonetheless, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can commonly foster strife and infighting within families who are already mourning the loss of a loved one. This can permanently damage or alter family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Pasadena, California?

Courts in Pasadena, California will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, nonetheless, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

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 usually 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. Further, 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 denied 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 instance) 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 therefore serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is effectively contested in Pasadena, California, and held to be invalid, this normally 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.

Can a Pasadena, California Contested Will Attorney Help?

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

Talk to a Wills, Trusts and Estates Law Attorney now!

Life in Pasadena

Pasadena, California is a city in Los Angeles County. It has a population of about 137,000 people.

Pasadena was first settled by Europeans in the early 1800s, and it was part of a Mexican land grant from that time period. When California became a U.S. state in 1849, Pasadena saw a large wave of settlement from other parts of the United States.

Modernly, Pasadena, California is known for its connection to cutting-edge scientific research. It is home to the California Institute of Technology - one of the leading universities in the country. It is also home to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which oversees the operations of many of NASA's deep space exploration probes. It is also the largest employer in Pasadena, California. In addition to employing scientists and engineers, JPL also employs large numbers of administrative personnel, including lawyers.

As you might imagine, because of its high level of education, there are many learned professionals, such as lawyers, in Pasadena, California.

If you are a resident of the Pasadena, California area and need a lawyer, chances are excellent that you'll be able to locate a Pasadena, California attorney who can handle whatever legal issue you might be facing.

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