Contested Wills in St. Cloud, Minnesota

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in St. Cloud, MN

In St. Cloud, Minnesota there are specific procedures authorizing certain people to challenge the validity of a will. This is identified 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 lot of money, or some specifically valuable property, is at stake, the person who was left out might want to go to court and allege that the will was invalid. When left out of a will, a family member might naturally assume that some kind of mistake has been made, whether this is directly true or not.

Nonetheless, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can frequently 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 St. Cloud, Minnesota?

Courts in St. Cloud, Minnesota will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, nonetheless, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

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. Typically, 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 really voluntary unless the testator knows what they're doing. Therefore, 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.

There are many other facts that might make a will invalid, and therefore serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is effectively contested in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and held to be invalid, this typically results in the property being distributed as if the decedent had died intestate (without a will). This means that it will usually go to the decedent's closest living relative.

Can a St. Cloud, Minnesota Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a reliable St. Cloud, Minnesota attorney can help take some of the burden off of you, and handle some of the most difficult aspects of this process.

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

Life in St. Cloud

With close to 70,000 residents, Saint Cloud, Minnesota is the largest city in Minnesota's central region. Saint Cloud is named after St. Cloud, France and has some charming French restaurants and culture paying homage to its namesake. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the picturesque city has a lot to offer residents and visitors. St. Cloud is just over an hour drive from Minneapolis and St. Paul, and an easy city to access from all around. St. Cloud islocated in three counties: Stearns County, Benton County, and Sherburne County and is also considered one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Minnesota. Comprising a total area of 30.9 miles, St. Cloud has over ninety parks within its city limits. St. Cloud also has thirty undeveloped small islands, which make for popular canoe and kayak adventures. As a city on the rise, it is no wonder that there is such a wonderful lawyer community in St. Cloud. St. Cloud lawyers are highly skilled in a range of practice areas, and available to help their neighbor with any issue he or she may be dealing with. The legal community in St. Cloud is growing as fast as the city itself, and it is a great time to use this resource!

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