Contested Wills in Chicago, Illinois

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Chicago, IL

In Chicago, Illinois, 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 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 a lot of money, or some specifically 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 grave and irreversible damage to family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Chicago, Illinois?

Courts in Chicago, Illinois will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, nonetheless, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

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 typically 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. Also, 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.

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.

There are many other facts that might make a will invalid, and therefore serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is effectively contested in Chicago, Illinois, and held to be invalid, this usually results in the property being distributed as if the decedent had died intestate (without a will). This means that it will usually go to the decedent's closest living relative.

Can a Chicago, Illinois Contested Will Attorney Help?

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

Many people often think of Chicago as a mini-New York City with nicer people. Chicago in fact is a large city with a lot to offer tourists, include warm and friendly hospitality.

Popular attractions in Chicago include Willis Tower Skydeck, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, Art Institute of Chicago, Wrigley Field, Grant Park, and the Magnificent Mile. Additionally, Chicago is home to many great restaurants. In fact, the style of deep-dish pizza originated in Chicago.

If one would like to catch a Broadway show, they can at Broadway Theater. Famous universities such as Northwestern University and the University of Chicago also have wonderful, historical campuses that tourists often enjoy touring.

Being such a well-known city, many firms have office locations in Chicago, Illinois. Firms such as Baker McKenzie, Sidley Austin, Mayer, Brown Platt, and Winston Strawn have large offices that employ brilliant attorneys. Additionally, many small and mid-size firms are also present in Chicago. All in all, residents of Chicago have no need to worry for any legal inquiry of theirs can be handled by the legal force in Chicago.

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