Contested Wills in Warner Robins, Georgia

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Warner Robins, GA

In Warner Robins, Georgia, 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 normally expect to inherit a large portion of the testator's estate (spouses, for instance). This might lead them to assume, correctly or not, that the will was a 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 Warner Robins, Georgia?

Of course, a Warner Robins, Georgia court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some cases 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 normally 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. Additionally, 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 valid will, the person 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 Warner Robins, Georgia will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Usually, 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." Typically, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, normally 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. Consequently, the old will can be given effect.

Can a Warner Robins, Georgia Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will can be a difficult, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a knowledgeable Warner Robins, 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 Warner Robins

Warner Robins, Georgia is located in two counties in Georgia -- Houston County and Peach County. The dual-county city has a population of close to 50,000 residents. The city was originally named York before settling on its' current name in 1947.

Because of the presence of Robins Air Force Base, which attracts people from all around the world, the city is nicknamed "International City." The base is also the state's largest employer in a single location -- providing over 21,000 jobs to local residents. The Museum of Aviation is also a popular place to visit, located right next to the base.

In addition to being a great place to work, Warner Robins has also been named one of Georgia's best places to raise a family by Business Week. Not surpringly, Warner Robins is also a great place to find a lawyer. Whatever the legal issue is, Warner Robins lawyers are available to help a client navigate through the often confusing legal landscape of a problem.

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