Contested Wills in Omaha, Nebraska

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Omaha, NE

It is feasible, in Omaha, Nebraska, to go to court and claim that a will is invalid, in some cases. This is called a Will Contest.

A will is normally contested when a family member who expected to inherit a large amount of money or property are disappointed with the contents of the will, particularly if the testator's motives are not clear. They will frequently assume that the will must be a forgery, or a result of fraud or force.

If a massive amount of money or property is being given away, the person left out of the will could rationally conclude that the cost and time of a court challenge is worth it.

Nonetheless, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can commonly 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 Omaha, Nebraska?

Of course, a Omaha, Nebraska court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some instances which render a will clearly invalid.

For instance, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, normally 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. Nonetheless, 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.

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 honestly 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.

If you successfully contest the will in Omaha, Nebraska, 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 normally happen during a person's life. Normally, 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 Omaha, Nebraska Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve convoluted legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Omaha, Nebraska 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 Omaha

Omaha is the seat of Douglas County and the largest city in the State of Nebraska. Omaha has a population that has been climbing toward 500,000 residents as well as 5 of Fortune 500's richest companies. Those include Union Pacific Corporation, Mutual of Omaha, ConAgra Foods, Peter Kiewit and Sons Inc., and Berkshire Hathaway. These monumental companies attract many other outstanding Fortune 1000 companies like the headquarters of TDAmeritrade, West Corporation, Werner Enterprises, First National Bank of Omaha, and world renown architectural firms like Leo A Daly and the DLR Group.

Omaha's urban landscape plays host to some of the world's most wealthy businessmen like Warren Buffett. Not surprising to find out then Forbes Magazine voted Omaha the "Best bang for your buck city" in the United States. The Olympic Swim Trials were hosted in Omaha in 2008 and again in 2012. Additionally, the College World Series is held in Omaha. Omaha is a diverse Midwestern city with a number of dedicated neighborhoods. Besides gated communities, Omaha offers a number of ethnic neighborhoods like Little Mexico, Little Italy, and Greek Town offer some of the city's most authentic restaurants. Downtown offers a number of nationally recognized historic landmarks and museums. Many residents work in the meatpacking and railroad industries. Omaha is famous for it's meat products, most notably Omaha Steaks which are shipped throughout the world.

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