Contested Wills in Haverhill, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Haverhill, MA

In Haverhill, 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.

Bringing legal action against anyone, let alone a family member, is not a decision that you should rush into. Contesting a will, particularly if another family member stands to lose out if you are successful in the contest, can permanently alter or even destroy family relationships. Evidently, this is something to consider.

When Can a Will be Contested in Haverhill, Massachusetts?

There are various reasons that a Haverhill, Massachusetts court might hold a will to be invalid.

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.

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 Haverhill, Massachusetts 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, normally 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. Usually, 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 Haverhill, Massachusetts Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will can be a confusing, emotional, expensive, and time-consuming process. There is really no way around this. However, a seasoned Haverhill, 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 Haverhill

Haverhill is a Massachusetts city located in the county of Essex. Founded in 1640, it is one of the oldest known communities in the state. The city encompasses a wide range of industries, from agricultural rural land use to modern research efforts found in its urban areas.

Haverhill is dedicated to preserving its rich history which captures early American life. The Haverhill Historical Society showcases colonial life through the Buttonwood Museum. Recently Haverhill formed "Cultural Treasures", a collection of five non-profit cultural groups promoting history and the arts.

There are many opportunities for outdoor recreation in Haverhill. In particular, the Merrimack River is an ideal location for hiking and observing nature. Haverhill is home to a growing bald eagle population which can be seen along the River.

Noteworthy Haverhill inhabitants have included inventor Alexander Graham Bell, Supreme Court Justice William Henry Moody, and comic creator Bob Montana. Bob Montana's famous comic "Archie" is based on everyday Haverhill life.

Lawyers in Haverhill, Massachusetts generally file most of their cases at the Haverhill District Court. Many Haverhill lawyers are members of outstanding Massachusetts legal organizations.

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