Contested Wills in Riverside, California

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Riverside, CA

In Riverside, California, there is a process through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is identified 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 directly true or not.

Like any legal matter, however, this should not be taken lightly. Will contests can foster conflict and strife within families who are already mourning a loved one. This can cause grave and irreversible damage to family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Riverside, California?

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

For instance, a will which was not made under the testator's own volition and free will is not valid. This means that the testator must be acting voluntarily throughout the entire process of making his will. Thus, a will made under duress (force, or threat of force) will not be given effect. In order to show duress, you generally need to first prove that the person named in the will was in a position of trust and power over the decedent, and that they are an "unnatural beneficiary" (someone who you would not normally expect to receive a gift under a will, usually because they are not related to, or close friends with, the testator). These facts, taken alone, are never enough to definitively prove that duress occurred. They are, however, usually enough to suggest that something strange is going on, and warrant further investigation.

Another reason why a will might be invalid is the maker of the will being mentally incompetent at the time the will was made. In order to make a legitimate will, the individual making it must have enough of his or her mental faculties to understand what they're doing, and the consequences of it.

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

Can a Riverside, 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 reliable lawyer in Riverside, California can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.

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

Life in Riverside

The City of Riverside is unsurprisingly the seat of Riverside County and home to numerous historical, cultural, and educational institutions. In fact, Riverside is called the "City of Arts and Innovation." The Fox Performing Arts Center is better known as the "Fox Theater" is best known for being the location for the first theater preview screening of the American Classic "Gone with the Wind." The Fox Theater was recently restored and reopened for a sold out Sheryl Crow concert. It's located in downtown near the California Museum of Photography, which boasts the most comprehensive photographic collection west of the Mississippi. The Riverside County Historic Courthouse is a historical and architectural attraction built in the "beaux arts" style. There are also a number of Queen Anne style homes in Riverside's Historic District.

Annual visitors come to Riverside for events like the Riverside International Film Festival, Riverside Air Show, and the Riverside Dickens Festival that campaigns for literary and community awareness. Other seasonal visitors include students attending the nearby institutions of higher education like nearby University of California at Riverside. UC Riverside is also the largest employer in the city with over 7,100 faculty and staff. California Baptist College, California Southern Law School, Riverside City College, and La Sierra University round out the other major colleges in Riverside. There are also a number of important courts in Riverside like the United States District Court, US Bankruptcy Court for Central California, Riverside Superior Court, and California Court of Appeals. You might guess there would be a number of knowledgeable lawyers in the area as well. Bakersfield actually offers a number of lawyers who specialize in more than Criminal, Bankruptcy, and Immigration cases. The bustling film industry in Riverside has brought a number entertainment and contract related lawyers to the city.

Clients Rate LegalMatch Attorneys
(click to read reviews)

Regel B.
Regel B.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Caldwell, LA

Brad M.
Brad M.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Sussex, NJ

David L.
David L.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Ashland, OH

Gotham Light