Contested Wills in Thousand Oaks, California

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Thousand Oaks, CA

In Thousand Oaks, California, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is known 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 a lot of money, or some particularly 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 actually true or not.

You should remember that a will contest often 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 Thousand Oaks, California?

There are several reasons that a Thousand Oaks, California court might hold a will to be invalid.

One big reason to invalidate a will is the fact that the will was made under duress. "Duress" simply means forcing somebody to do something they don't want to, using some kind of threat. Usually, the threat involves some type of physical harm. The most obvious example would involve putting a gun to somebody's head and telling them to write a will containing the terms desired by the gunman. Such a will, assuming the underlying facts can be proven in court, will never be valid. Of course, the validity of a will rarely becomes an issue until the testator has died, which may be years after the will was drafted. This means that proving the circumstances under which the will was made can often be very difficult. However, there are certain facts, such as the devise being to an "unnatural" beneficiary (somebody the testator didn't know very well, for instance), and the beneficiary being in a position of power over the decedent, are enough to at least create a suspicion that something is wrong.

Another fact that might invalidate a will is the mental incompetence of the testator. Wills must be a product of a person's volition. A will cannot be truly voluntary unless the testator knows what they're doing. Accordingly, if the testator is mentally incompetent at the time he or she makes the will, the will cannot take effect. You should be aware, however, that this test applies at the time the will is made. So, if the testator is not mentally competent at the time of death, but was when the will was made, the will is valid.

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 Thousand Oaks, California, and held to be invalid, this usually 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 Thousand Oaks, California Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is often difficult, and never fun. However, the whole process can be made more bearable if you have the help of a qualified Thousand Oaks, California attorney, and the process will probably be much more manageable.

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

Life in Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks, California is a master-planned city located in Ventura California. It is named after the abundance of oak trees in the city. Thousand Oaks contains about 2,000 single family residences, an industrial park, a regional shopping center, and various neighborhood retail centers.

The local economy of Thousand Oaks consists of numerous businesses, namely biotechnology, electronics and telecommunications, and cosmetics. Major corporations in Thousand Oaks include Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Amgen, Inc., Jafra Cosmetics, and a Verizon Regional Office. These companies, along with many other employers, attract a large number of residents and commuters to the city.

Popular destinations in Thousand Oaks, California include: the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center, Wildwood Regional Park, and The Oaks Shopping Center. Many national store chains establish new locations in Thousand Oaks when expanding to the West Coast, as the city is often at the forefront of fashion and retail trends. Due to its location in the northwest region of the Greater Los Angeles Area, many famous actors, singers, and celebrity superstars chose to live in Thousand Oaks. These have included Colbie Caillat, Heather Locklear, Sophia Lauren, and Dean Martin.

In order to meet the needs of the community, lawyers in Thousand Oaks, California offer services in many different areas of law. Thousand Oaks lawyers handle legal matters that are sometimes unique to the region. Legal advice is available for those with questions about the laws in Thousand Oaks.

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