Contested Wills in Brookline, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Brookline, MA

In Brookline, Massachusetts there are particular procedures permitting certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is recognized as a "will contest" or "contested will."

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

If there is a massive 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 grave and irreversible damage to family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Brookline, Massachusetts?

A court in Brookline, Massachusetts will not entertain a will contest unless there is a very good reason to do so. But, there are some allegations which, if shown, clearly invalidate a will.

For instance, if the will was obtained through duress (threat of some kind of harm), then it is invalid. Duress, however, is difficult to prove. If a named beneficiary was in some position of power or trust with the decedent, and is not someone who one would ordinarily expect to get a large gift in a will, that might raise considerable initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove 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.

If you successfully contest the will in Brookline, Massachusetts, the court will likely distribute the property as if the decedent had died without a will. This usually involves giving it to the closest living relative. While the exact intestacy schemes (the order in which property is distributed to relatives) vary from state to state, they are usually pretty similar. If possible, the property will go to the decedent's spouse, and if the decedent has any minor children with that spouse, it is with the understanding that the money will be used primarily for their care. If the decedent did not have children or a spouse (or outlived them), the property typically goes to the decedent's parents. If neither of them are alive, it goes to grand children, grandparents, or siblings. After that, it typically goes to cousins, nieces/nephews, step-children, former spouses, etc. Intestacy laws provide a line of succession long enough that just about anyone will leave at least one person behind who is entitled to inherit from them, even if they're an extremely distant relation. Sometimes, however, people make multiple wills, to account for the many personal and financial changes that normally happen during a person's life. Normally, the most recent will purports to revoke all past wills, to avoid any conflict between them. In such cases, if a will is entirely invalidated, a court can sometimes revive the second most recent will.

Can a Brookline, Massachusetts Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve confusing legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Brookline, Massachusetts attorney can be invaluable in helping this process go as smoothly as possible.

Talk to a Wills, Trusts and Estates Law Attorney now!

Life in Brookline

Brown Deer is a village in Milwaukee County and was formerly a part of the town of Granville. Brown Deer officially incorporated on January 20, 1955 and is home to 13,000 Wisconsin residents. The village covers a total of 4.4 square miles and plays host to a large population of Caucasians and African-Americans over half of whom are married. The village is one of only two municipalities in Wisconsin that retains an African American population greater than 10%. and also plays host to a number of lawyers. Brown deer lawyers are familiar with local courts and procedures and use their experience when advising clients on the best course of action for their case.  

Brown Deer is popular among families because of it's great schools which include Deen Elementary School, Brown Deer Middle School, and Brown Deer High School. Formerly, Algonquin Elementary School was open on North 47th Street but closed because it could not compete with the newer Deen Elementary School. Brown Deer residents enjoy access to many nearby parks and shopping centers that also attract visitors from neighboring counties. Brown Deer also has an outstanding kids sports program for residents that offers baseball, soccer, and basketball among other sports.

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