Contested Wills in Lowell, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Lowell, MA

In Lowell, 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 Lowell, Massachusetts?

There are various reasons that a Lowell, 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.

Another fact that might invalidate a will is the mental incompetence of the testator. Wills must be a product of a person's volition. A will cannot be honestly voluntary unless the testator knows what they're doing. Therefore, if the testator is mentally incompetent at the time he or she makes the will, the will cannot take effect. You should be aware, however, that this test applies at the time the will is made. So, if the testator is not mentally competent at the time of death, but was when the will was made, the will is valid.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Lowell, Massachusetts will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Typically, 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." Normally, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, usually 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. Thus, the old will can be given effect.

Can a Lowell, 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 seasoned Lowell, 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 Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts is the fourth largest city in the state with a population of over 106,000. Along with Cambridge, Lowell serves as the county seat for Middlesex County. Lowell is most famous for being "the birthplace of the industrial revolution" within the U.S. It was the first U.S. city to have phone numbers, and Alexander Graham Bell once demonstrated the telephone in Lowell.

The city offers many of the amenities of a large city, while at the same time maintaining a small-town culture. Neighborhoods in Lowell, Massachusetts proudly display historic homes in a variety of styles, such as Colonials, Capes, Ranches, and Victorians. Lowell is also one of the oldest cities in the state and has produced many outstanding figures in American history, such as author Jack Kerouac and entertainer Ed McMahon.

In addition to preserving its rich history, Lowell is known for constantly employing new technologies and innovations. For example, the city is home to Lowell Telecommunications, which is a dynamic, evolving community media center. The Revolving Museum is another facility that offers public art exhibits and educational programs. Lowell's focus on economic and business development has provided the community with ample opportunities for progress and advancement.

Many lawyers in Lowell, Massachusetts work closely with the Lowell District Court. Lowell lawyers offer legal services in many different fields to cover the needs of the community. Lowell is known for being host to a large number of civic service organizations, which many lawyers are active in.

Clients Rate LegalMatch Attorneys
(click to read reviews)

Regel B.
Regel B.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Caldwell, LA

Brad M.
Brad M.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Sussex, NJ

David L.
David L.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Ashland, OH

Gotham Light