Contested Wills in Rochester Hills, Michigan

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In Rochester Hills, 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 normally expect to inherit a large portion of the testator's estate (spouses, for example). This might lead them to assume, correctly or not, that the will was a 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.

As with the initiation of any other legal proceeding, contesting a will is a big decision. It can be time-consuming and costlye. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among individuals who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.

When Can a Will be Contested in Rochester Hills, Michigan?

There are various reasons that a Rochester Hills, Michigan court might hold a will to be invalid.

One big reason to invalidate a will is the fact that the will was made under duress. "Duress" simply means forcing somebody to do something they don't want to, using some kind of threat. Usually, the threat involves some type of physical harm. The most obvious example would involve putting a gun to somebody's head and telling them to write a will containing the terms desired by the gunman. Such a will, assuming the underlying facts can be proven in court, will never be valid. Of course, the validity of a will rarely becomes an issue until the testator has died, which may be years after the will was drafted. This means that proving the circumstances under which the will was made can often be very difficult. However, there are certain facts, such as the devise being to an "unnatural" beneficiary (somebody the testator didn't know very well, for instance), and the beneficiary being in a position of power over the decedent, are enough to at least create a suspicion that something is wrong.

Another thing to consider is the mental capacity of the person making the will. If, at the time the will was made, the testator was insane or heavily intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be shown.

If the contest is successful, a court in Rochester Hills, Michigan might find the will or part of it invalid. Of course, that leaves the question of how to distribute the property in the absence of a valid will. All states have laws that address this situation, usually passing the property to the decedent's closest living kin. All states have laws governing the order in which property is passed on in this manner. Typically, it goes to the spouse first. If there is no living spouse, it goes to the children. If there are no children, it goes to the decedent's parents, and so on. Most laws on this subject are written in such a way that almost everyone will have at least one relative entitled to inherit, even if that person is very distantly related to the decedent. In the very rare case where no living relatives exist, or none can be found, the decedent's assets usually go to the state.

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Can a Rochester Hills, Michigan Contested Will Attorney Help?

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

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Life in Rochester Hills

Rochester Hills is one of Michigan's most affluent cities.  It is located northeast of Oakland County, and is home to around 71,000 people. 

Some known areas include Rochester College, Oakland University, Meadow Brook Hall, the Dodge-Wilson estate, and the Auburn Hills neighborhood. 

The top employers include the school district, Crittenton Hospital, FANUC Robotics, Wrights & Filippis, Webasto Roof Systems, Volkswagen, Dura Automotive Systems, and the Henry Ford Health System. 

Rochester Hills is also filled with many wonderful parks.  Such parks include Paint Creek Trail, Borden Park, Bloomer Park, Avondale Park, Allen Park, and Riverbend Park.  For nature lovers, these beautiful parks serve as a great reason to visit.

The area is also filled with some attorneys who practice law with great devotion and a sense of service.  These attorneys are not only competent, but also well-connected.  Thus, the legal needs of residents and/or businesses will always be taken care of. 

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