Contested Wills in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Ann Arbor, MI

In Ann Arbor, Michigan there are certain procedures allowing certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is known as a "will contest" or "contested will."

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

If a large amount of money or property is being given away, the person left out of the will could rationally conclude that the cost and time of a court challenge is worth it.

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 Ann Arbor, Michigan?

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

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 typically 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. Also, 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 a Ann Arbor, Michigan will is successfully challenged and thus invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Usually, 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 Ann Arbor, Michigan 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 reputable lawyer in Ann Arbor, Michigan 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 Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan is a city in Washtenaw County, of which it is also the county seat. Its current population is approximately 114,000 people, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan.

Ann Arbor was founded in 1824, and is perhaps best known for being the site of the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States, and is generally considered one of the "public ivies" - public universities which are considered to be on par with the universities in the Ivy League. The University of Michigan is particularly well known for its law school, which is one of the top 14 law schools in the country. This school has produced thousands of extremely accomplished Ann Arbor, Michigan lawyers.

And thanks to the presence of a large university, Ann Arbor, Michigan has largely been spared the economic woes that have affected the rest of the state. The university employs a large number of people, and provides local businesses with a large customer base.

If you live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and are in need of legal services, there's a very good chance that there's an Ann Arbor, Michigan attorney who can help you.

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