Contested Wills in Lakewood, New Jersey

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Lakewood, NJ

It is possible, in Lakewood, New Jersey, to go to court and claim that a will is invalid, in some cases. This is called a Will Contest.

Sometimes, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a substantial portion of the testator's estate (spouses and children, for example). This might lead them to assume, truthfully or not, that the will was some kind of mistake.

If there is a considerable amount of money or property at stake, a family member who was left out of the will might find it to be worth the time or money to contest it.

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 severe and irreversible damage to family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Lakewood, New Jersey?

Courts in Lakewood, New Jersey 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.

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. Accordingly, 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 a Lakewood, New Jersey will is successfully challenged and therefore invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Typically, if a will is held invalid, all of the property will be treated as if the decedent had never written or will. This means that it goes to the decedent's closest living relative, or, if there are not relatives who can be located, the state.

Can a Lakewood, New Jersey Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is often challenging, and never fun. However, the whole process can be made more bearable if you have the help of a knowledgeable Lakewood, New Jersey attorney, and the process will probably be much more manageable.

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

Life in Lakewood

Lakewood, New Jersey is a township located in Ocean County. Its current population estimate is about 60,000 people.

In the early 1900s, Lakewood was a popular place for New Yorkers to visit in the winter, because it has a unique microclimate which makes it significantly warmer in the winter than surrounding areas. It is home to a lake, and large wooded areas, making it a popular place to visit year-round.

Modernly, portions of Lakewood are designated as Urban Enterprise Zones. These are special areas seen by the state government as being in need of economic development. Businesses are encouraged to open in these Zones through tax and regulatory breaks, and consumers are encouraged to buy goods and services because they have a lower sales tax rate than other parts of the state. The sales tax in these Enterprise Zones is half the statewide rate, which should serve as a major incentive for consumers to shop there.

If you live in or near Lakewood Township, New Jersey, there's a good chance that you'll be able to find a lawyer to handle virtually any legal issue you might be facing. Lakewood, New Jersey lawyers are well-trained and competent, and chances are good that there's at least one Lakewood, New Jersey lawyer who can handle whatever legal problem you present them with.

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