Contesting a will in Texas before or after it has been admitted to probate?
You can contest a will either before or after it has been admitted to probate; however, there are certain benefits to contesting the will before it is admitted. If a will is contested before it is admitted to probate, the
person who filed the will for probate has the burden of proof to show:
- That the testator had testamentary capacity when he made the will;
- That the will was executed with the required formalities; and
- That the will was never revoked.
A will can be contested after it has been admitted to probate but the burden of proof is then on the person contesting the will. The burden of proof on some issues like undue influence, forgery, etc. are always on the person contesting the will whether the contest is filed before or after the will is admitted to probate.
Contesting a will after it has been admitted to probate is the usual time frame in which people contest wills. Whether it is because the person only found out about the will after it was admitted to probate or whether the person hoped that the invalid will would somehow not take effect or whether it is just normal human dragging of the feet is hard to say.
Contesting a will can be done even if the will has already been admitted to probate. A person can still contest a will but needs to contact a lawyer as soon as he thinks that he might need to contest a will. As can be seen, there are some benefits to contesting a will as soon as you realize that the will is invalid and should not be admitted to probate. Even if the will has already been admitted to probate, it is beneficial to start the process as soon as possible.