Contested Wills in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Gloucester, MA

In Gloucester, Massachusetts 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, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a substantial 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 considerable 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 Gloucester, Massachusetts?

Courts in Gloucester, Massachusetts will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, nonetheless, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

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.

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.

There are many other facts that might make a will invalid, and therefore serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is effectively contested in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and held to be invalid, this typically results in the property being distributed as if the decedent had died intestate (without a will). This means that it will usually go to the decedent's closest living relative.

Can a Gloucester, Massachusetts 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 reliable Gloucester, Massachusetts 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 Gloucester

Gloucester, Massachusetts is a city located on Cape Ann, in Essex County. According to a 2007 Census estimate, its population is approximately 30,000 people. The area now known as Gloucester was first reached by British settlers in the 1620s. The town of Gloucester was so named in the 1640s (or that's when the first known written reference to the name exists) from a town of the same name en England. The town, thanks to its once-abundant supply of lumber, and its proximity to the ocean, used to be an important shipbuilding center. Though this industry has largely moved elsewhere, it is still an important part of the town's history and culture. It was also once a very important center for commercial fishing, and fishing is still an important component of the local economy. The architecture of Gloucester is quite beautiful, with many sections of the town comprised almost entirely of 100+ year old buildings, giving it the idyllic look distinctive to New England. There are also plenty of lawyers in and around Gloucester, Massachusetts who can handle whatever legal problem you might find yourself facing. New England is home to several exceptional law schools, and, by extension, many exceptional lawyers. If you have a legal issue, a Gloucester, Massachusetts lawyer can help.

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