Contested Wills in Blue Springs, Missouri

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Blue Springs, MO

In Blue Springs, Missouri 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 a lot of money, or some particularly 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.

Bringing legal action against anyone, let alone a family member, is not a decision that you should rush into. Contesting a will, especially if another family member stands to lose out if you are successful in the contest, can permanently alter or even destroy family relationships. Obviously, this is something to consider.

When Can a Will be Contested in Blue Springs, Missouri?

There are various reasons that a court in Blue Springs, Missouri might invalidate a will.

For example, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, typically physical) is invalid. Of course, duress is very difficult to prove after the fact, and the issue may not even come up until many years after it allegedly occurred, making proof even more difficult. However, if the named beneficiary was in some type of position of power or trust with respect to the decedent, and is not someone who one would normally expect to get a large gift in a will (they're unrelated to the testator, for example), those facts alone might be enough to raise the suspicion of impropriety. Of course, those facts by themselves are not enough to prove duress.

A will can also be rejected because the decedent was not mentally competent to draft it at the it was made. A court will look at the person's mental capacity at the time the will was made, so even if the testator is now perfectly sane, if he or she was incapacitated for whatever reason (by way of intoxication, for example) at the time the will was made, the will can still be invalidated.

If you successfully contest the will in Blue Springs, Missouri, the court will likely distribute the property as if the decedent had died without a will. This usually involves giving it to the closest living relative. While the exact intestacy schemes (the order in which property is distributed to relatives) vary from state to state, they are usually pretty similar. If possible, the property will go to the decedent's spouse, and if the decedent has any minor children with that spouse, it is with the understanding that the money will be used primarily for their care. If the decedent did not have children or a spouse (or outlived them), the property typically goes to the decedent's parents. If neither of them are alive, it goes to grand children, grandparents, or siblings. After that, it typically goes to cousins, nieces/nephews, step-children, former spouses, etc. Intestacy laws provide a line of succession long enough that just about anyone will leave at least one person behind who is entitled to inherit from them, even if they're an extremely distant relation. Sometimes, however, people make multiple wills, to account for the many personal and financial changes that typically happen during a person's life. Typically, the most recent will purports to revoke all past wills, to avoid any conflict between them. In such cases, if a will is entirely invalidated, a court can sometimes revive the second most recent will.

Can a Blue Springs, Missouri 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 knowledgeable lawyer in Blue Springs, Missouri 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 Blue Springs

Blue Springs is a Jackson County city that is just outside of Kansas City in the State of Missouri. The city is home to 55,000 residents including celebrities like David Cook from American Idol, rapper Tech N9NE, pro wrestler Ricky Vega, and football player Doug Terry. Blue Springs is popular among families and business professionals because it plays host to many award-winning schools and is an attractive residential community for commuters. Notably, a number of lawyers call Blue Springs home. Those lawyers specialize in a wide range of practice areas and daily take new cases. There are also a number of picturesque parks and free recreational activities.  

Blue Springs was founded by settlers traveling westward who utilized the clean spring water from Little Blue River. The river played an important role in the development of Blue River and powered the Burrus Old Mill, a grist mill, which can still be visited at the city's Burrus Old Mill Park on Woods Chapel Road. When the Chicago and Alton Railroads announced they were constructing a station 1 mile east of the mill in 1878, the city's center relocated to attract more commerce. 

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