Contested Wills in Columbia, South Carolina

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Columbia, SC

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

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

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

As with the initiation of any other legal proceeding, contesting a will is a big decision. It can be time-consuming and expensivee. It also has the possibility to damage family relationships and foster strife among people who are already mourning the loss of a loved one.

When Can a Will be Contested in Columbia, South Carolina?

There are various reasons that a court in Columbia, South Carolina might invalidate a will.

For example, a will which was not made under the testator's own volition and free will is not valid. This means that the testator must be acting voluntarily throughout the entire process of making his will. Therefore, a will made under duress (force, or threat of force) will not be given effect. In order to show duress, you generally need to first prove that the person named in the will was in a position of trust and power over the decedent, and that they are an "unnatural beneficiary" (someone who you would not normally expect to receive a gift under a will, usually because they are not related to, or close friends with, the testator). These facts, taken alone, are never enough to definitively prove that duress occurred. They are, however, usually enough to suggest that something strange is going on, and warrant further investigation.

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.

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 Columbia, South Carolina, and held to be invalid, this typically 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 Columbia, South Carolina 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 Columbia, South Carolina 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 Columbia

Columbia, South Carolina is the state capital, and the largest city in the state. It has a population of about 130,000 people. Columbia has a rich history, and has figured prominently in important historical events dating back to before the Civil War. While being occupied by Union troops during the Civil War, much of Columbia was destroyed in a fire. During Reconstruction, as in many Southern states, numerous African Americans were elected to public office in South Carolina, which was a novelty to most Americans at the time. As a result, Columbia experienced a brief tourism boom, as visitors wanted to observe the state legislature in session. Modernly, Columbia, South Carolina is quite diverse in both demographics, and economy. Columbia is a major center for several industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, and many others.

Columbia, South Carolina is also home to Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army's largest training facility, which has a major economic impact on the area. Each year, the federal government spends over million for salaries, utilities, and other services (with a significant amount going to local contractors). Furthermore, each year, over 100,000 people visit the area to attend basic training graduation, and patronize the local hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets.

Columbia, South Carolina lawyers need to be competent to handle many different types of cases. If you contact a Columbia, South Carolina lawyer with any type of case, chances are they cantake it, or refer it to another local attorney who can.

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