Contested Wills in Oak Park, Illinois

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Oak Park, IL

In Oak Park, Illinois there are certain procedures allowing certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is known as a "will contest" or "contested will."

Sometimes, when a person who expected to be included in a will is left out, their natural assumption is that there was some mistake, or that the will was made through improper means, such as duress or fraud, or that the will is an outright forgery.

If a large amount of money is involved, someone who was left out of a will, or not given what they were expecting, might believe that contesting the will is worth the time, money, and energy that doing so would require.

You should remember that a will contest often results in adversarial legal proceedings, which can be very contentious. Considering the likelihood that other members of your family might be on the other side, it's clear that this can really damage a person's relationship with his or her family.

When Can a Will be Contested in Oak Park, Illinois?

There are several reasons that a court in Oak Park, Illinois might invalidate a will.

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.

Another thing to consider is the mental capacity of the person making the will. If, at the time the will was made, the testator was insane or severely intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be proven.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Oak Park, 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 Oak Park, Illinois 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 good Oak Park, Illinois 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 Oak Park

Oak Park, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago, located in Cook County. Its population, as of a 2003 Census estimate, is about 50,000 people.

Via the Chicago Loop, residents and visitors to Oak Park, Illinois, have very easy access to downtown Chicago, and all the amenities and economic opportunities that only one of the nation's largest cities can provide.

The history of Oak Park can be traced back to the 1830s, when a settler purchased about 170 acres of land outside Chicago. By 1850, the area was home to a railroad station, around which future growth would be based. Following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the population of what would become Oak Park began to boom, due to many residents relocating after losing their homes or businesses. Oak Park, Illinois was officially established as town in 1902.

Modernly, Oak Park is known for its many historic buildings, healthy economy, and excellent school system.

Because Oak Park, Illinois is such an attractive place to live for many people, it should be no surprise that plenty of lawyers have set up shop there. Oak Park, Illinois lawyers can handle just about any legal issue a resident of the area is likely to have. If you need any legal assistance, an Oak Park, Illinois lawyer is the first person you should call.

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