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Understanding will contests in Texas

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Estate Planning

The process of contesting a will is a matter that requires careful consideration and understanding. It also mandates following Texas estate laws.

When disputes arise over the validity or contents of a will, all parties must understand the legal steps in handling the situation.

Reasons for a contest

Challenges to the legitimacy of a will can transpire for various reasons. Common grounds for contesting a will include allegations of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity and the presence of fraudulent activities during the creation or signing of the will. Interested parties are those who potentially may benefit from the will. These individuals have the right to challenge the validity of the will through legal proceedings.

Contesting with the court

The process of challenging a will in Texas involves filing a legal document known as a contest. This document outlines the specific reasons for the objections. An individual will file it with the probate court. They must do this within two years of the start of probate.

The court’s actions

Once there is a contest of the will, the probate court will initiate legal proceedings to evaluate the legitimacy of the claims. The court will thoroughly examine the evidence from all involved parties. It will base its decision on Texas estate law. It is important to note that the burden of proof lies with the party contesting the will. This individual must provide substantial evidence to support their claims.

The probate court can render various outcomes in response to a will contest. The court may decide to uphold the validity of the will and reject the challenges. Alternatively, if the court finds merit in the contest, it may declare the will partially or entirely invalid.

While the process of will contests may seem complex, it comes down to ensuring fairness and justice in matters of inheritance. By becoming familiar with the various aspects of the process, individuals can navigate the process with clarity and contribute to a fair resolution.