Contested Wills in Independence, Missouri

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Independence, MO

It is allowed, in Independence, Missouri, to go to court and claim that a will is invalid, in some cases. This is called a Will Contest.

Sometimes, when a person who expected to be included in a will is left out, their natural assumption is that there was some mistake, or that the will was made through improper means, such as duress or fraud, or that the will is an outright forgery.

If the decedent was fairly well-off, their will might involve a great deal of money or property. This is one of the basic reasons, besides a general sense of exclusion, that a family member might expend the great deal of time and money necessary to contest a will.

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 Independence, Missouri?

Courts in Independence, Missouri will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, however, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

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.

Because a testator must know what they are doing in order to write a valid will, the testator must be of sound mind at the time the will is made. Basically, if a person is unaware of what they're doing, and the consequences of their actions, they can't make a valid will. This can be due to mental illness, or intoxication. Of course, if it's a result of intoxication, the testator can simply sober up and then make a perfectly valid will.

There are many other facts that might make a will invalid, and thus serve as grounds to contest a will. If a will is successfully contested in Independence, Missouri, and held to be invalid, this usually 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 Independence, 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 good lawyer in Independence, 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 Independence

Independence, Missouri was home to former President Harry S. Truman. Not surprisingly, the city has lots to offer to show the life and times of the loved president. In Independence, a visitor can ride the "Truman Trolley", tour his old street, visit the soda fountain on Main street where Truman had his first job,see where he went to school, and other presidential points of interest.

Independence isthe fourth largest city in the entire state of Missouri and home to over 100,000 residents-- also making it the 20th largestcity in the United States. Independence was founded in 1827 and also serves as the headquarters for the Latter Day Saints Movement and played a major role in the development of this religion. There are also many great public and private schools located in Independence, making the city a great place to raise children.

Independence hasa lot ofCivil War History that provides its residents and visitors with plenty historial sites to admire. Museums, sporting events, and cultural sites make Independence a great place to visit and live. Independence is also home to many talented lawyers. Independence lawyers are skilled in a range of legal specialities and able to help their clients with any legal issue they may find themselves confronted with.

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