Contested Wills in Towson, Maryland

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Towson, MD

In Towson, 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."

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 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.

Like any legal matter, however, this should not be taken lightly. Will contests can foster conflict and strife within families who are already mourning a loved one. This can cause grave and irreversible damage to family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Towson, Maryland?

Courts in Towson, Maryland will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, nonetheless, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

To be valid, a will must be a product of the testator's own free will. So, a will that the testator was forced or tricked into making is not valid, if the probate court finds out about the duress or trickery. Of course, wills are usually made many years before a person dies, so how can a person expect to prove duress or fraud if they suspect it? To begin with, it's not easy. It is possible, however. First of all, it's good to have as much documentation of the testator's affairs as possible. Any written statements concerning their desires on this matter will also be very useful, if there are any. Further, if the suspect gift is totally out of left field (property is left to someone that you know the testator didn't like, or barely knew, for instance), this might also support your position that the will was invalid. Of course, the testator can leave his or her money to whomever they want, so these facts, by themselves, will not be enough to prove fraud or 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 legitimate will, the individual making it must have enough of his or her mental faculties to understand what they're doing, and the consequences of it.

If you successfully contest the will in Towson, Maryland, 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 normally happen during a person's life. Normally, 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 Towson, Maryland Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is often hard, and never fun. However, the entire process can be made more bearable if you have the help of a reliable Towson, Maryland attorney, and the process will probably be much more manageable.

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

Life in Towson

Towson, Maryland is the county seat of Baltimore County. Its population of over 53,000 residents makes it the second largest unincorporated county seat in the entire U.S. Towson is recognized as an excellent city for retail and shopping endeavors.

The highlight of Towson is the Towson Town Center. The Town Center is Baltimore County's largest indoor shopping mall. It has four stories filled with all types of different shops, including a unique bookstore located structurally underneath Joppa Road. Another great place to visit is Alleghany Avenue, Towson' main downtown street. Alleghany Avenue is famous for its wide variety of local eateries.

Education is also a major aspect of Towson life. Towson University (TU) is located in the city and has an associated body of 20,000 students. The largest business school in Maryland is located at the University, as are the Towson Center arena and Unitas Stadium.

Several prominent persons have called Towson their home: football legend Johnny Unitas, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, and writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, to name a few.

The Maryland District Court has a branch conveniently located in Towson. The District Court is where most Towson lawyers file legal claims. Lawyers in Towson, Maryland are a great asset to the city and its community.

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