Contested Wills in Skokie, Illinois

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Skokie, IL

In Skokie, Illinois there are specific procedures authorizing certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is identified 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 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 directly 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 Skokie, Illinois?

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

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

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Skokie, Illinois will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Usually, 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." Typically, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, normally 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. Consequently, the old will can be given effect.

Can a Skokie, Illinois Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will can be a complicated, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a reliable Skokie, 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 Skokie

The picturesque town of Skokie, Illinois is located just sixteen miles from the state capital of Chicago, and twelve miles from Chicago O'Hare International airport. Comprised of 10.2 square miles, Skokie is a popular town for city workers to live in, and was awarded the Illinois "Governor's Award" as well as being recognized as an "All American City" by the National Civil League.

Out of the entire country, Skokie was the first community to have a nationally accredited fire, police and public works department -- a distinction that places Skokie as a model city to many others inside and outside of the state. With all the awards and attention, it is no wonder that Skokie was named one of the 80 fastest growing suburbs in the nation.

Also on the rise in Skokie are lawyers. Whether working in Chicago or Skokie, local lawyers are skilled in anything a client may need whether it is a high stakes divorce or drafting a simple deed. Many lawyers come from the local law schools in Chicago, including University of Chicago Law School.

Skokie gets its unique name from the Native American term for fire. Skokie is home to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education center, and the city's large Jewish population makes it the only Illinois city that has more Jewish schools than Catholic schools. The North Shore Center for Performing arts is located in Skokie and provides the city with many cultural events and concerts every year.

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