Contested Wills in Lawrence, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Lawrence, MA

In Lawrence, 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."

Occasionally, 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 instance). 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.

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 Lawrence, Massachusetts?

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

For instance, a will which was not made under the testator's own volition and free will is not valid. This means that the testator must be acting voluntarily throughout the entire process of making his will. Thus, a will made under duress (force, or threat of force) will not be given effect. In order to show duress, you generally need to first prove that the person named in the will was in a position of trust and power over the decedent, and that they are an "unnatural beneficiary" (someone who you would not normally expect to receive a gift under a will, usually because they are not related to, or close friends with, the testator). These facts, taken alone, are never enough to definitively prove that duress occurred. They are, however, usually enough to suggest that something strange is going on, and warrant further investigation.

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 Lawrence, Massachusetts, and held to be invalid, this usually 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 Lawrence, Massachusetts Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a reputable Lawrence, 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 Lawrence

Lawrence, Massachusetts is a city located in Essex County. According to a 2007 Census estimate, Lawrence has a population of about 70,000 people. Along with Salem, Lawrence is the county seat of Essex County.

Lawrence, Massachusetts was first founded in 1640, as an English settlement. During the industrial revolution, which went on from the mid-1800s to the early 20th century, Lawrence grew rapidly.

Lawrence quickly became home to many large and productive textile mills. However, like many cities during the industrial revolution, Lawrence underwent significant growing pains. In 1912, a mill collapsed, and killed over 140 workers. This, along with many other factors, such as sub-standard working conditions and low pay, led to a strike by over 25,000 workers, now known as the Bread and Roses Strike, which has since become a rallying cry for many workers' rights organizations.

In the 1950s, Lawrence saw a decline in many of its traditional industries, which led to a period of economic hardship. However, its economy is currentlyseeing some improvement, witha sharp decrease in violent crime, and a spike in private investment, with many investors purchasing the many old mill and factory buildings.

If you live in or near Lawrence, Massachusetts, chances are very good that you'll be able to find a good lawyer. Lawrence, Massachusetts lawyers have to deal with a wide variety of cases, and as a result, tend to be well-rounded.

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