Contested Wills in Palatine, Illinois

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Palatine, IL

In Palatine, 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."

Occasionally, 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 combative. 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 Palatine, Illinois?

There are various reasons that a Palatine, Illinois court might hold a will to be invalid.

One big reason to invalidate a will is the fact that the will was made under duress. "Duress" simply means forcing somebody to do something they don't want to, using some kind of threat. Usually, the threat involves some type of physical harm. The most obvious example would involve putting a gun to somebody's head and telling them to write a will containing the terms desired by the gunman. Such a will, assuming the underlying facts can be proven in court, will never be valid. Of course, the validity of a will rarely becomes an issue until the testator has died, which may be years after the will was drafted. This means that proving the circumstances under which the will was made can often be very difficult. However, there are certain facts, such as the devise being to an "unnatural" beneficiary (somebody the testator didn't know very well, for instance), and the beneficiary being in a position of power over the decedent, are enough to at least create a suspicion that something is wrong.

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 heavily intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be shown.

If the contest is successful, a court in Palatine, Illinois 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, usually 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. Typically, 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 Palatine, Illinois 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 reputable Palatine, 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 Palatine

Palatine, Illinois is located in Cook County, and is a mostly-residential suburb of Chicago. Its population is about 68,000 people.

The village of Palatine was founded in 1866, as a station for the new Chicago and North Western Railway. Palatine began to grow as a residential suburb immediately after World War Two.That period of history saw major economic growth, driven by years of pent-up consumer demand caused by war rationing and the Great Depression.

During the economic boom of the late 1990s, Palatine began modernizing and revitalizing its downtown area, building a new train station, parking garage, as well as a good deal of office and condominium space. Several large corporations have a major presence in Palatine. They include JPMorgan Chase, Weber-Stephen Products, and Square D (a large manufacturer of circuit breakers).

Palatine's economy also benefits from its status as a suburb of Chicago. Many residents of Palatine work in Chicago, allowing for a regular exchange of goods and labor.

If you live in Palatine, Illinois, and need a lawyer, it's very likely that a Palatine, Illinois lawyer can help.

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