Contested Wills in Saginaw, Michigan

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Saginaw, MI

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

If there is a considerable 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 expensivee. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among people who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.

When Can a Will be Contested in Saginaw, Michigan?

There are many reasons that a Saginaw, Michigan court might hold a will to be invalid.

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 fact that might invalidate a will is the mental incompetence of the testator. Wills must be a product of a person's volition. A will cannot be really voluntary unless the testator knows what they're doing. Accordingly, if the testator is mentally incompetent at the time he or she makes the will, the will cannot take effect. You should be aware, however, that this test applies at the time the will is made. So, if the testator is not mentally competent at the time of death, but was when the will was made, the will is valid.

So, you've succeeded in contesting the validity of a Saginaw, Michigan will. What happens to the property that was going to be distributed according to its terms? Usually, 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." Typically, this simply means that the assets will be passed on to their owner's closest living relative, normally 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. Consequently, the old will can be given effect.

Can a Saginaw, 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 Saginaw, Michigan 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 Saginaw

Saginaw, Michigan is a city in Saginaw County. It is the county seat. As of 2009, it has a population of about 55,000, down from nearly 62,000 in the year 2000.

The area now called Saginaw was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. French traders and missionaries were the first Europeans to explore the area, arriving in the 1600s. The first permanent non-native settlement was established in 1815, and, like many early settlements in the region, served as a trading post.

Unfortunately, Saginaw has not been spared the economic hardship that has befallen much of the Midwest in recent decades. It has a high crime rate, and nearly 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Nonetheless, Saginaw is still a vibrant community, populated by thousands of people who love it. This shows in its locally-owned businesses to which customers are fiercely loyal, and entertainment venues featuring local artists.

Saginaw, Michigan also has a legal community that should be able to help a resident of the area with virtually any legal issue they're likely to face. If you live in Saginaw, Michigan and need legal advice, you should contact a Saginaw, Michigan attorney quickly.

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