Contested Wills in Ellicott City, Maryland

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Ellicott City, MD

In Ellicott City, Maryland there are particular procedures permitting certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is recognized as a "will contest" or "contested will."

Sometimes, 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 example). This might lead them to assume, truthfully or not, that the will was some kind of mistake.

If a massive amount of money is involved, someone who was left out of a will, or not given what they were expecting, might believe that contesting the will is worth the time, money, and energy that doing so would require.

However, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can commonly foster strife and infighting within families who are already mourning the loss of a loved one. This can permanently damage or alter family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Ellicott City, Maryland?

A court in Ellicott City, Maryland will not entertain a will contest unless there is a very good reason to do so. However, there are some allegations which, if proven, clearly invalidate a will.

For example, 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. Therefore, 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 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 Ellicott City, Maryland 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 Ellicott City, Maryland 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 brilliant lawyer in Ellicott City, Maryland 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 Ellicott City

Ellicott City, Maryland is an unincorporated community in Howard County. It has a population of approximately 57,000 people as of the 2000 Census Ellicott City, Maryland was founded in 1772, by a small group of Quaker missionaries. Chosen for its picturesque natural scenery and abundant natural resources (particularly lumber), the settlement quickly grew into a bustling community. Tourists are generally drawn to the area because of its beautiful natural scenery. However, Ellicott, Maryland is also home to a niche tourist industry: ghost hunting. It is considered by enthusiasts to be one of the most haunted places in the U.S. If you believe in that sort of thing, Ellicott City could be a delightful place to visit. Ellicott City is home to quite a few tourist attractions. In addition to hiking trails, it is home to The Enchanted Forest, an amusement park with a fantasy theme. It is also has a locale Shakespeare company, that regularly puts on productions of the bard's plays. Residents of Ellicott City, and the surrounding area, have access to a wide variety of competent attorneys. Ellicott City, Maryland lawyers are ready to handle just about any case that you are likely to face. Whatever legal issues you're dealing with, an Ellicott City, Maryland lawyer can help.

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