Contested Wills in Malden, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Malden, MA

In Malden, 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.

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 Malden, Massachusetts?

A court in Malden, 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 substantial initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove duress.

Because a testator must know what they are doing in order to write a valid will, the testator must be of sound mind at the time the will is made. Essentially, if a person is unaware of what they're doing, and the consequences of their actions, they can't make a legitimate will. This can be due to mental illness, or intoxication. Of course, if it's a result of intoxication, the testator can simply sober up and then make a perfectly valid will.

If you successfully contest the will in Malden, 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 typically happen during a person's life. Typically, 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 Malden, Massachusetts Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is often challenging, and never fun. However, the entire process can be made more bearable if you have the help of a knowledgeable Malden, Massachusetts attorney, and the process will probably be much more manageable.

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

Life in Malden

Malden is a city located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of slightly over 55,000 people.

The first European settlers in Malden were a group of Puritans, who purchased the land from the Pawtucket Indians. In 1648, the code of enacted laws in New England was printed in Malden. During the American Revolution, Malden played an important role in the American Revolution, and was a major stronghold of revolutionary sympathies.

Malden contains many fascinating historical landmarks, most of which are from the Revolutionary era and before. Malden is also home to several recreational areas, including parks and various sporting fields. Perhaps most notably, Malden is home to Pine Banks, a 107 acre recreational park featuring playgrounds, picnic areas, and a large, undeveloped area for hiking.

Malden, Massachusetts is also home to Middlesex Falls Reservation, a Massachusetts state park, which boasts many recreational activities for those who enjoy the outdoors.

If you live in Malden, Massachusetts, and need a lawyer, there's a good chance you'll be able to find the right one. Malden, Massachusetts lawyers can handle almost any case you might have.

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