Contested Wills in Waltham, Massachusetts

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Waltham, MA

In Waltham, 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."

Sometimes, 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 example). 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.

You should remember that a will contest often results in adversarial legal proceedings, which can be very contentious. Considering the likelihood that other members of your family might be on the other side, it's clear that this can really damage a person's relationship with his or her family.

When Can a Will be Contested in Waltham, Massachusetts?

Of course, a Waltham, Massachusetts court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some situations which render a will clearly invalid.

For example, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, usually physical) is invalid. Of course, duress is very difficult to prove after the fact, and the issue may not even come up until many years after it allegedly occurred, making proof even more difficult. However, if the named beneficiary was in some type of position of power or trust with respect to the decedent, and is not someone who one would normally expect to get a large gift in a will (they're unrelated to the testator, for example), those facts alone might be enough to raise the suspicion of impropriety. Of course, those facts by themselves are not enough to prove duress.

Another reason why a will might be invalid is the maker of the will being mentally incompetent at the time the will was made. In order to make a valid will, the person making it must have enough of his or her mental faculties to understand what they're doing, and the consequences of it.

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

Can a Waltham, Massachusetts Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because this can involve complicated legal issues, and be very emotionally draining, this is not something you want to go at alone. A good lawyer in Waltham, Massachusetts can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.

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

Life in Waltham

Waltham, Massachusetts has a population of just over 60,000 residents and is located in Middlesex County. The city has historical significance and is considered to play a pivotal role in the labor movement.

Waltham is often nicknamed "Watch City" because of the presence of Waltham Watch Company which has produced over 40 million watches and other time instruments before closing. Waltham also has a great music scene that brings together the community for various events throughout the year. The city is also a great place to be active -- with a 97 out of 100 points on the walkability rating system.

In addition to a good public school education system, Waltham also houses three colleges: Bentley University, Brandeis University, and Center for Digital Imaging Arts. With such an emphasis on learning, it is no surprise that there is such a great professional community in Waltham. Waltham lawyers, for example, are trained at some of the best schools and are skilled in a range of legal issues. From lawyers to accountants to bankers, Waltham is a city that is a great place to work.

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