What to Do When Someone Contests a Will
It has been said that the main question in a will contest is whether a will that has been presented to the probate court accurately expresses the will of the decedent. Within that framework, a will contest may put any aspect of a will under the microscope.
At Flournoy McLain, P.C., our estate law attorneys represent people on either side of a will contest:
- An interested person (such as a beneficiary or creditor) who is contesting a will
- The executor who asserts the accuracy of the will
Request a consultation at the first indication of a pending will contest or evidence of the need for a will contest.
Factors That May Trigger a Will Contest
Someone contesting a will in Texas must do so within two years of the filing of the will in probate court. Grounds for a contest may include evidence of one or more of the following:
- The decedent created or signed the will under undue influence from someone else, perhaps a family member or caregiver.
- The decedent created or agreed to a will under duress. Perhaps they were afraid or under coercion.
- The decedent revoked the will in question.
- The decedent made a mistake (perhaps by signing the wrong version of a will that was under development).
- The decedent lacked the mental capacity to make sound decisions at the time that they signed the will.
- The executor has done something wrong while executing the will.
- The will was created through fraud. (Perhaps the will is fake and the decedent was not even involved).
Challenges such as these may involve technical formalities or bring the intent of the decedent into question. In some cases, the language in a will may be ambiguous, leading to disagreements and a will contest. Others involve problems that may arise during the administration of a will when the executor or personal representative breaches their procedural or fiduciary duties in probate administration.
According to Texas’ laws, any interested person may contest a will. In other words, anyone who may gain or lose something if the will submitted to probate court is executed.
Bring Your Points of Discussion About a Will Contest to Our Lawyers’ Attention
Our attorneys want you to be happy with our counsel even if the outcome of a will contest is not what you expected. Let us help you give the will contest or defense of a will your best efforts.