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In 2016, the Texas court of appeals in Austin had to decide if a will was voidable because of public policy. The testator had one child, a girl. Two days before he died, he executed a new will that disinherited his daughter. The daughter contested the will. Her principal theory was that her disinheritance by her father violated ” public policy” –namely Texas’s strong public policy against sexual abuse of children. As her basis for that theory, she alleged that her father had abused her sexually while she was a (more…)
Explosion of Will Contest Cases
The evening standard reports that London courts are facing an explosion of will contest cases.
“There has been a huge explosion of inheritance disputes. More people will be aware that they can do something about it when they are cut out of their parents’ will.” “We are seeing an increase in Inheritance Act claims brought by adult children …. claims of this nature will only become more common,”
Ageing Population Cause of Explosion of Will Contest Cases
An ageing population and rising levels of dementia have fueled a sharp rise in will disputes.
“People are living longer and we have a generation of children who are reliant on their parents.”
Some children (and, based on my experience, “friends” and “caretakers”) are taking advantage of the elderly.
The article “warned that a rise in court fees was leading more people to try to represent themselves.” “(T)he end result could be catastrophic for some.” While the court fees are not as high in Texas as they are in the UK, a person trying to represent themselves in a will contest case in Texas may be facing a catastrophe for them and their case.
For the same reasons Texas is seeing an increase in will contest. I have previously written on why contesting a will has become more common. You can view that article here. An English law firm, Soosmiths, has an article on their website that discusses the Ministry of Justice statements on the causes of the increase in such cases in England. The increase is as much as 700% over prior years!
English law is different from Texas law but the law firm notes several reasons that I have previously discussed like the change in the family structure and the fact that we are living longer. The English article also talks about self made or do it yourself wills being a cause (more…)
Will Contest in Texas are in rem proceedings which means that notice to all the heirs is not required. It is up to each interested party to keep themselves apprised of the status of any probate case. Tennessee is also an in rem state as far as contesting a will is concerned.
Do All Heirs Have To Join A Will Contest in Texas?
A will contest may be brought by any one interested party, and all other interested parties are free to join the contestant, join the (more…)
Elder abuse is increasing, often at the hands of those closest. In an article in the Arizona Daily Star by Patrick McNamara, which was published on their website, tucson.com, the paper reported that law enforcement is seeing an increase in elder abuse.
Reason that elder abuse is increasing
As our elderly population grows, law enforcement and prosecutors are seeing an increase in the number of incidents of exploitation and abuse against older people. According to the article, law enforcement has seen a nearly 50 percent increase in elder exploitation reports. Financial crimes are taking a toll on lives and pocketbooks reports Constance Gustke in the New York Times. Trusted caregivers – friends and relatives who offer support and guidance – are often the ones at fault. The article states that older adults are appealing – and vulnerable – targets (more…)