Contested Wills in Stratford, Connecticut

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Stratford, CT

In Stratford, 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 Stratford, Connecticut?

A court in Stratford, Connecticut will not entertain a will contest unless there is a very good reason to do so. However, there are some allegations which, if proven, clearly invalidate a will.

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. Typically, 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 thing to consider is the mental capacity of the person making the will. If, at the time the will was made, the testator was insane or severely intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be proven.

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 Stratford, Connecticut, and held to be invalid, this typically 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 Stratford, Connecticut Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will can be a perplexing, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a knowledgeable Stratford, Connecticut 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 Stratford

With a population of about 50,000 people, Stratford is a relatively large town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It is also one of the oldest American cities, as it was founded all the way back in the year 1639. The town initially began as a utopian-style Puritan community. Eventually it changed to a more traditional colonial-style settlement. Today it continues to thrive as an excellent place for residence and business.

Stratford is probably best known for its historical heritage in military operations, in particular military aviation. One of the world's first commercial helicopters was developed in the city. Further, both Stratford Army Engine Plant and Silkorsky Aircraft are headquartered in Stratford. Residents and tourists take regular visits to the city's National Helicopter Museum.

Another defining mark of the city of Stratford is its presence in the theater and production industry. For many years Stratford's American Shakespeare Theatre was home to many Shakespearean productions and actor's performances. The theatre hosted such outstanding actors as Katharine Hepburn and Paul Newman.

Stratford lawyers assist their clients by filing at the Connecticut Superior Court located in Bridgepoint near Stratford. More advanced claims are heard at the Connecticut Appellate Court or Supreme Court, both located nearby in Hartford. Lawyers in Stratford, Connecticut typically hear a diverse array of legal claims.

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