Contested Wills in Shelton, Connecticut

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Shelton, CT

In Shelton, Connecticut, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is identified as a "contested will" or "will contest."

Sometimes, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a substantial portion of the testator's estate (spouses and children, for example). This might lead them to assume, truthfully or not, that the will was some kind of mistake.

If the decedent was fairly well-off, their will might involve a great deal of money or property. This is one of the main 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.

However, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can frequently 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 Shelton, Connecticut?

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

For example, 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. Therefore, 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 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 really 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.

If a Shelton, Connecticut will is successfully challenged and therefore invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Typically, 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 Shelton, Connecticut Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a knowledgeable Shelton, Connecticut attorney can help take some of the burden off of you, and handle some of the most difficult aspects of this process.

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

Life in Shelton

Beautiful Shelton, Connecticut is home to close to 39,000 residents and located in Fairfield County. Shelton was first settled in 1639 and has been growing ever since. Shelton encompasses 39 square miles and is one of the few cities in connecticut with its own sheriff department.

Tragedy struck the city in 1975 when it was the victim of the largest arson fire in American history. The city has recovered from the fire, but the city once known for being a major rubber manufacturer never had the industry revived to the same level. The city is currently undergoing a major downtown revitalization -- an effort that will unite the community.

In addition to two golf courses, Shelton also has many outdoor activities for its residents to enjoy. Shelton also has a great legal community with lawyers trained to serve their local clients in issues ranging from divorce to drafting a deed. Shelton lawyers are an important part of the growing community and trained at some of the top law schools in the country. Whether living, working, or just visiting Shelton, a good lawyer is never far away.

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