Contested Wills in Berwyn, Illinois

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Berwyn, IL

In Berwyn, Illinois, 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 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 a lot of money, or some particularly valuable property, is at stake, the person who was left out might want to go to court and allege that the will was invalid. When left out of a will, a family member might naturally assume that some kind of mistake has been made, whether this is actually true or not.

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 severe and irreversible damage to family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Berwyn, Illinois?

Of course, a Berwyn, Illinois court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some situations which render a will clearly invalid.

For example, if the will was obtained through duress (threat of some kind of harm), then it is invalid. Duress, however, is difficult to prove. If a named beneficiary was in some position of power or trust with the decedent, and is not someone who one would ordinarily expect to get a large gift in a will, that might raise significant initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove duress.

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.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Berwyn, Illinois 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 Berwyn, Illinois Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve difficult legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Berwyn, Illinois attorney can be invaluable in helping this process go as smoothly as possible.

Talk to a Wills, Trusts and Estates Law Attorney now!

Life in Berwyn

Berwyn is located in Cook County in the state of Illinois. It has a population of 54,000 and was formed in the year 1908. It is frequently co-listed with Berwyn Township.

Berwyn is known for being the fastest-growing suburb in Illinois. It is noted for having the largest collection of Chicago-style brick two story bungalows in the United States. The city boasts a growing arts community due to its Arts Council and top notch entertainment and music venues. It also has a professional equity theater in operation. Berwyn has become a haven for artists who are seeking a vibrant alternative to downtown Chicago.

Other attractions in Berwyn include the widely celebrated Houby Day Parade and the Fall Mushroom Harvest, both of which are held annually. An annual vintage car parade called "Cartopia" is held wherein Berwyn residents can showcase their prized automobiles.

Lawyers in Berwyn, Illinois practice in a variety of legal fields. Specifically, many Berwyn lawyers focus on finance and investment law. This is because the Cermak Road area has been nicknamed the "Bohemian Wall Street", since it contains a large number of savings and loans institutions. Berwyn has been reported to have the highest concentration of financial and lending institutions in the entire world.

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