Contested Wills in Augusta, Georgia

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Augusta, GA

In Augusta, Georgia, 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."

Sometimes, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a significant 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 a large amount of money or property is being given away, the person left out of the will could reasonably conclude that the cost and time of a court challenge is worth it.

However, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can often 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 Augusta, Georgia?

There are many reasons that a Augusta, Georgia 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 Augusta, Georgia, 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 Augusta, Georgia Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a good Augusta, Georgia 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 Augusta

Augusta, Georgia is a city consolidated with Richmond County, Georgia. This means that the government of the city and the county are one and the same. As of 2008, the Augusta-Richmond entity has a population of 195,000 people.

Augusta was founded in the colonial era, and was the second established town in what was, at the time, a British colony named Georgia.

Augusta, Georgia has recently seen an economic boom, thanks to a large concentration of businesses in the medical and biotech industries setting up shop there. It is home to the Medical College of Georgia, the state's only public medical school, and also offers a program in dentistry, graduate degrees in nursing, and others. This college attracts students from all over the country, increasing the local consumer base, and provides over 7,000 jobs.

Augusta is also home to Fort Gordon, a U.S. Army base that houses significant elements of the Army Signal Corps, and has about 30,000 occupants.

Needless to say, Augusta, Georgia lawyers need to be well-versed in several areas of law to stay competitive. The sheer diversity of industry and demographics in the area mean that there is almost certainly an Augusta, Georgia lawyer who is right for you.

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