Contested Wills in Westminster, California

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Westminster, CA

In Westminster, 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 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.

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 Westminster, California?

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

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.

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.

If a Westminster, California will is successfully challenged and thus invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Normally, if a will is held invalid, all of the property will be treated as if the decedent had never written or will. This means that it goes to the decedent's closest living relative, or, if there are not relatives who can be located, the state.

Can a Westminster, 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 seasoned lawyer in Westminster, 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 Westminster

Westminster is located in Orange County in the state of California. It has a population of nearly 90,000 and was named after the Westminster Assembly of 1643. Originally, the city was named "Tri-City" because it was formed of three cities, Westminster, Midway City, and Barber City. Currently, Westminster California is an important hub for residence, employment, shopping, and arts/recreation.

The city of Westminster presents many opportunities for employment and business. Top employers in Westminster include Westminster School District, Southern California Edison, and Ito Farms. Many businesses are concentrated in Westminster's Bolsa area. The Westminster Mall is also a major source of revenue and retail for the city, as it contains over 180 different stores. For convenience, Westminster City Hall operates a separate branch called City Hall at the Mall.

Another site of interest in Westminster, California is the Westminster Rose Center. The Rose Center is a large, artistically designed building consisting of a banquet hall, a theater, and is often used for civic and cultural events. Westminster is also known for its beautiful outdoor parks, especially Liberty Park, which contains a well-frequented skate park.

Westminster lawyers provide many kinds of legal services for those needing advice or representation in court. Lawyers in Westminster, California often handle legal claims through the West Justice Center branch of the Superior Court of California, Orange County. The Justice Center is located in Westminster on 13th Street.

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