Contested Wills in Frederick, Maryland

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Frederick, MD

In Frederick, Maryland there are specific procedures authorizing certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is identified as a "will contest" or "contested will."

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

If a considerable 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 frequently 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 Frederick, Maryland?

A court in Frederick, 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.

A will can also be rejected 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 example) at the time the will was made, the will can still be invalidated.

If a Frederick, Maryland will is successfully challenged and therefore invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Typically, if a will is held invalid, all of the property will be treated as if the decedent had never written or will. This means that it goes to the decedent's closest living relative, or, if there are not relatives who can be located, the state.

Can a Frederick, Maryland Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve confusing legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Frederick, Maryland attorney can be invaluable in helping this process go as smoothly as possible.

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

Life in Frederick

Frederick is located in Frederick County, Maryland. Specifically, it is in the central north of Maryland. Frederick is Maryland's largest county. Overall, the city has a population of around 65,239 people.

Frederick's largest employer is the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick. Next in line is BP Solar. Unfortunately, after March 2010, BP had to lay off many employees. Frederick is also home to a few attorneys that practice actively and do their best to tend to the legal needs of residents.

Some popular attractions include Cityscape, The Frederick Arts Council, and The Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET).

Famous past and present residents include Joe Alexander, Michael Beasley, Lester Bowie, Fred Carter, Chuck Foreman, David Gallaher, Sam Hinds MLB, Bradley Tyler Johnson, Charles Mathias, Florence Roberts, Winfield Scott Schley, and Bryan Voltaggio.

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