Contested Wills in Hinesville, Georgia

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Hinesville, GA

In Hinesville, Georgia, 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."

Occasionally, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a considerable 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 massive 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.

Like any legal matter, however, this should not be taken lightly. Will contests can foster conflict and strife within families who are already mourning a loved one. This can cause grave and irreversible damage to family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Hinesville, Georgia?

Of course, a Hinesville, Georgia 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.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Hinesville, Georgia will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Typically, 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." Normally, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, usually 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. Thus, the old will can be given effect.

Can a Hinesville, Georgia 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 seasoned Hinesville, Georgia 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 Hinesville

Hinesville is home to 35,000 Georgians who live in the seat of Liberty County. The city covers a total of 16.3 square miles of pristine Georgia land. Hinesville is known for its coastal channels that provide plentiful water and food for local deer and wild hogs living in the dense forests of pine and oak trees. Residents and visitors experience these majestic woods and wildlife firsthand at the Cay Creek Wetlands. The wetlands are waterways that stretch between Hinesville and Midway including the historic Liberty Trail. There are also a number of lawyers in Hinesville who know local courts. Hinesville lawyers take many different cases and are able to practice statewide but often have more experience with local courts.  

Another one of Hinesville's many claims to fame is hometown of 3 Declaration of Independence signers: Lyman Hall, George Walton, and Button Gwinnett. The city isn't all historical and natural attractions. Hinesville is also home to some of the best shopping in the area with a number of chain and boutique shops. There are also a number of popular restaurants in Hinesville. The center of the city and old town sections are the most popular providing a mix of shopping, restaurants, and great nightlife. 

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