Contested Wills in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Allentown, PA

Sometimes, family members of a recently-deceased person in Allentown, Pennsylvania will attempt to claim that a will is invalid, typically because it leaves them out of it. This process is called a "Will contest."

Occasionally, 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 a considerable 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.

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 Allentown, Pennsylvania?

Of course, a Allentown, Pennsylvania court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some cases 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 substantial initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove 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. Essentially, if a person is unaware of what they're doing, and the consequences of their actions, they can't make a legitimate 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.

If the contest is successful, a court in Allentown, Pennsylvania might find the will or part of it invalid. Of course, that leaves the question of how to distribute the property in the absence of a valid will. All states have laws that address this situation, typically passing the property to the decedent's closest living kin. All states have laws governing the order in which property is passed on in this manner. Normally, it goes to the spouse first. If there is no living spouse, it goes to the children. If there are no children, it goes to the decedent's parents, and so on. Most laws on this subject are written in such a way that almost everyone will have at least one relative entitled to inherit, even if that person is very distantly related to the decedent. In the very rare case where no living relatives exist, or none can be found, the decedent's assets usually go to the state.

Can a Allentown, Pennsylvania Contested Will Attorney Help?

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

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

Life in Allentown

Allentown, Pennsylvania is a historic town located in an area known as "Lehigh Valley". The city is best known for its large number of century-old industrial complexes, commercial structures, and historic homes.

Much of Allentown's distinctive residential architecture is concentrated in its historic district of West Park. West Park is part of a larger community known as Center City. Center City in Allentown, Pennsylvania is comprised of "stately homes" featuring Victorian and Craftsman styles of homebuilding. Federal rowhomes are also common in Allentown. The city also boasts one America's best park systems. The city's park system was influenced by the "City Beautiful" planning movement in the 1890's and early 1900's.

The culture of Allentown is largely influenced by old-world German heritage that stretches back centuries. In particular, Allentown cuisine features many traditional treats that are exemplary of "Dutch Pennsylvania" culture. Allentown, Pennsylvania is an excellent city to visit, as it hosts many events and attractions. Some events and destinations include the Mayfair Festival of the Arts, the Baum School of Art, and the Allentown Symphony Hall.

Lawyers in Allentown, Pennsylvania are available to assist residents in a number of legal fields. Allentown lawyers are familiar with the unique set of laws that govern the city. Experienced lawyers are able to assist Allentown residents with questions, legal complaints, and inquiries.

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