Contested Wills in Arlington, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Arlington, MA

In Arlington, Massachusetts 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, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a significant portion of the testator's estate (spouses and children, for example). This might lead them to assume, truthfully or not, that the will was some kind of mistake.

If there is a large amount of money or property at stake, a family member who was left out of the will might find it to be worth the time or money to contest it.

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 Arlington, Massachusetts?

Of course, a Arlington, Massachusetts court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some situations 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 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 reason why a will might be invalid is the maker of the will being mentally incompetent at the time the will was made. In order to make a valid will, the person making it must have enough of his or her mental faculties to understand what they're doing, and the consequences of it.

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

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a good Arlington, Massachusetts 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 Arlington

Arlington is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It is very near Boston--approximately 6 miles northwest of it. Arlington has a population of around 42,900 people.

For nature lovers, Arlington is the place to be! It is filled with beautiful parks. Popular sites include Menotomy Rocks Park, Robbins Farm Park, Robbins Library, and Spy Pond Park. Other popular attractions include the Arlington Center Historic District, the Cyrus E. Dallin Museum, Henry Swan House, the Jason Russell House, Water Tower at Park Circle and the Uncle Sam Memorial Statue.

Past famous residents of Arlington include Dane Cook, Olympia Dukakis, Timothy Hutton, Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson, and Tom Yewcic.

The legal industry also has a presence in Arlington because many attorneys call Arlington home. These attorneys practice in many areas of law and focus on providing excellent and personalized legal services.

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