Contested Wills in Dunwoody, Georgia

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Dunwoody, GA

In Dunwoody, Georgia, there is a process through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is known as a "contested will" or "will contest."

Occasionally, 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 instance). 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 rationally conclude that the cost and time of a court challenge is worth it.

Nonetheless, 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 Dunwoody, Georgia?

A court in Dunwoody, Georgia will not entertain a will contest unless there is a very good reason to do so. But, there are some allegations which, if shown, clearly invalidate a will.

For instance, 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. Thus, 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.

Because a testator must know what they are doing in order to write a valid will, the testator must be of sound mind at the time the will is made. Essentially, if a person is unaware of what they're doing, and the consequences of their actions, they can't make a legitimate will. This can be due to mental illness, or intoxication. Of course, if it's a result of intoxication, the testator can simply sober up and then make a perfectly valid will.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Dunwoody, Georgia will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Generally, when a will is declared void, the decedent's assets will be treated as if he or she had died without a will. This is known as "intestacy." Usually, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, typically a spouse, children, siblings, or parents. If absolutely no relatives can be found, the property is passed to the state. If there is a previous will, which was revoked by the invalid will, a court might revive the old will. If the new will was found to be completely invalid (rather than just parts of it), it follows, then, that the revocation of the old will is invalid as well. Therefore, the old will can be given effect.

Can a Dunwoody, Georgia Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a reputable Dunwoody, 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 Dunwoody

Dunwoody, Georgia is a city located in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. It has a population of about 39,000 people.

Dunwoody, Georgia is a highly affluent community, and is ranked as the third-wealthiest city in Georgia. The city was named for Major Charles Dunwody (the extra "o" in the city's name owing to a misspelling on a bank note).

Dunwoody, Georgia has many historic buildings, including a church that has survived mostly unchanged since 1829, which is still in use today. Furthermore, Dunwoody's first public school, which opened in 1911, was in continuous use until the 1980s.

Dunwoody is generally considered a more upscale community, with a per capita income of over ,000, and a median household income of over ,000. This is likely due to the fact that Dunwoody, Georgia is largely populated by upper-middle-class professionals, who work in nearby Atlanta.

Given the sophisticated clientele of Dunwoody, Georgia, it should come as no surprise that there are some pretty skilled lawyers in the Dunwoody, Georgia area. If you have a legal problem, it's pretty much certain that a Dunwoody, Georgia lawyer can handle it.

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