Contested Wills in Duluth, Minnesota

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Duluth, MN

In Duluth, Minnesota 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 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.

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 Duluth, Minnesota?

There are several reasons that a court in Duluth, Minnesota might invalidate a will.

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 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.

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

Can a Duluth, Minnesota 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 Duluth, Minnesota 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 Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota is the fourth-larges city in the state, with a population of about 85,000. It is the county seat of St. Louis County. It is located on the north shore of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.

Various Native American tribes have lived in the area now known as Duluth for thousands of years. The first permanent European settlement of Duluth was established in 1852, and discovery of significant deposits of copper and iron led to a land rush, creating rapid population growth.

Around the same time, newly-build channels linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean allowed for large ships to access Duluth, further promoting economic growth.

During the first half of the 20th Century, Duluth, Minnesota underwent a major industrial boom, becoming an important center for steel manufacturing. However, by the 1970s, foreign competition began to seriously weaken the U.S. steel industry, leading to the closure of one of the major steel plants in the area.

More recently, Duluth, Minnesota has, with a good amount of success, transitioned into a tourism-based economy.

If you live in or near Duluth, Minnesota, chances are you can find a good lawyer for whatever legal problem you might have. Duluth, Minnesota lawyers are able to handle just about any case that walks through their door.

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