Contested Wills in Westland, Michigan

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Westland, MI

In Westland, 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."

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 a large 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 often 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 Westland, Michigan?

There are several reasons that a Westland, 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 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 truly 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.

If a Westland, Michigan will is successfully challenged and therefore 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 Westland, Michigan Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is often difficult, and never fun. However, the whole process can be made more bearable if you have the help of a qualified Westland, Michigan attorney, and the process will probably be much more manageable.

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

Life in Westland

Westland, Michigan is located in Wayne County just about 16 miles away from the city of Detroit. It has a budding population of over 86,000 residents. The city had its humble beginnings in the 18th century as a prime location for mill industries.

Currently, Westland is an ideal location for persons seeking employment and residential opportunities. Its location near Detroit makes it an excellent place for commuters to live and engage in retail and commercial activity. For example, the Westland Shopping Center is located in the city. The Shopping Center has over 100 stores that shoppers can choose from. As an "All-American City", Westland also has an abundance of recreational and dining opportunities throughout the city.

Westland is presently invested in preserving its historical roots. Recently in 2009 the city received a grant through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The grant was in the amount of over million and will be used for restoring historic districts.

Many Westland, Michigan lawyers belong to several bar associations, including the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. Membership in multiple bars allows lawyers in Westland to serve their community with a more thorough legal perspective. Most Westland claims are heard in the 18th District Court of Michigan, which was recently renovated to promote more efficient court operations.

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