After a loved one passes away, their estate plan should reflect their wishes for their legacy. However, in some cases the will may not truly represent their wishes and interests.
Under Texas law, an interested party—beneficiaries, trustees, family members and others with a connection to the person who passed away—can contest a will in court. Common reasons for will contests include a lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence and failing to meet legal requirements.
Did your loved one have testamentary capacity?
In order to write a will, a person must be able to fully understand both their property and the decision they make. You may be able to challenge a will if you believe that your loved one’s condition limited their ability to understand the legal decision they made in signing the will.
Did someone exert undue influence on your loved one?
Undue influence occurs when someone manipulated, coerced or pressured the person writing the will to make choices that they would not otherwise have made.
Did the will meet the legal requirements under Texas law?
As legal documents, wills are regulated by Texas law, and a valid will must meet a variety of requirements in order to be considered valid. For example, most wills require witness signatures in order to be valid in the eyes of the law. Wills must also meet certain requirements as a legal document. If a will does not meet these requirements, the court may decide that it is invalid.
If you believe that your loved one’s will was invalid, you could fight to protect their legacy and your fair treatment in court through a will contest.