Contested Wills in Dubuque, Iowa

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Dubuque, IA

In Dubuque, Iowa, 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 normally expect to inherit a large portion of the testator's estate (spouses, for example). 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 major 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.

As with the initiation of any other legal proceeding, contesting a will is a big decision. It can be time-consuming and costlye. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among individuals who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.

When Can a Will be Contested in Dubuque, Iowa?

There are many reasons that a court in Dubuque, Iowa might invalidate a will.

For instance, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, normally physical) is invalid. Of course, duress is very difficult to prove after the fact, and the issue may not even come up until many years after it allegedly occurred, making proof even more difficult. Nonetheless, if the named beneficiary was in some type of position of power or trust with respect to the decedent, and is not someone who one would normally expect to get a large gift in a will (they're unrelated to the testator, for example), those facts alone might be enough to raise the suspicion of impropriety. Of course, those facts by themselves are not enough to prove duress.

A will can also be denied because the decedent was not mentally competent to draft it at the it was made. A court will look at the person's mental capacity at the time the will was made, so even if the testator is now perfectly sane, if he or she was incapacitated for whatever reason (by way of intoxication, for instance) at the time the will was made, the will can still be invalidated.

If the contest is successful, a court in Dubuque, Iowa might find the will or part of it invalid. Of course, that leaves the question of how to distribute the property in the absence of a valid will. All states have laws that address this situation, normally passing the property to the decedent's closest living kin. All states have laws governing the order in which property is passed on in this manner. Usually, it goes to the spouse first. If there is no living spouse, it goes to the children. If there are no children, it goes to the decedent's parents, and so on. Most laws on this subject are written in such a way that almost everyone will have at least one relative entitled to inherit, even if that person is very distantly related to the decedent. In the very rare case where no living relatives exist, or none can be found, the decedent's assets usually go to the state.

Can a Dubuque, Iowa Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a seasoned Dubuque, Iowa 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 Dubuque

Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa. It is situated along the Mississippi river, and has an estimated population of just under 60,000, placing it in the top ten largest cities in Iowa.

Dubuque is one ofthe oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. The firstEuropeans toset foot in the area were French missionaries commissioned by the French government to establish a new colony in North America, and map the unexplored areas beyond the colony's borders. Theyreached what is now known asDubuque in 1673. The first permanent settlement in the areawas established by Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785 and gave the area its present name.

The area has rich deposits of lead, and Dubuque quickly grew in wealth and population, with its economy revolving around mining. Today, the economy of Dubuque, Iowa is fairly diverse, based on tourism, publishing, and various high-tech fields. Dubuque, Iowa attracts visitors with its beautiful natural scenery, and many fascinating historical sites.

If you live in Dubuque, and need an attorney, chances are excellent that you'll find a Dubuque, Iowa lawyer who can handle whatever case you're likely to face.

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