Contested Wills in Winona, Minnesota

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Winona, MN

In Winona, 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 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 actually true or not.

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 Winona, Minnesota?

Of course, a Winona, Minnesota court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some situations which render a will clearly invalid.

For instance, if the will was obtained through duress (threat of some kind of harm), then it is invalid. Duress, however, is difficult to prove. If a named beneficiary was in some position of power or trust with the decedent, and is not someone who one would ordinarily expect to get a large gift in a will, that might raise significant initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove 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 Winona, 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 Winona, Minnesota Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve confusing legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Winona, Minnesota 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 Winona

The island city of Winona, Minnesota is located in the Mississippi River Bluffs and was founded in 1851 by a steamboat captain and has been quickly growing ever since. Sugar Loaf is the famous rock landmark easily seen from outside Winona.Thanks in large part to the lumber industry, Winona now boasts a population of 30,000 residents. Recognized as the stained glass capital of the United States, Winona's industries is an eclectic mix. Top Winona employers include: Fastenal, Winona Health, Winona State University and Wal-Mart. With so many businesses and industries it is of little surprise that there are so many great Winona lawyers skilled in any practice area that the city residents may need assistance with. Winona lawyers are some of the best in the business and enjoy working and living in the charming island city.

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