Contesting a Will Because of Undue Influence

Contesting a will in Texas

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I am a litigation attorney

I aggressively represent my clients. I strive to obtain the absolute best results possible for them. I have limited contracentration areas, one is in the area of litigation involving inheritance disputes. I handle cases in estate and trust disputes including will contests, mental competency issues, undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty and related claims, and accountings.

I am the primary author of the Inheritance Laws blog, which reports on legal cases and issues impacting inheritance disputes in Texas.

Although I am based in the DFW area – Lantana (Denton County, Texas), I have a state-wide practice.

I have over 40 years of trial experience.

Contesting a Will can be complicated but we can guide you through the process

  • We’ll talk through your options with you
  • We’ll check the size and scope of the estate
  • We’ll listen, and we’ll work with you to help you get what you’re entitled to
  • We’ll keep you regularly updated all the way along and ensure that your claim is managed as efficiently as possible

 

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CONTESTING A WILL

When you are forced to contest a will in Texas because someone is trying to keep you from your rightful inheritance, you have to retain an inheritance attorney. How you pay that lawyer may determine whether you can or can’t contest the will.

HOURLY FEE

When you are contesting a will in Texas, you normally pay the attorney on an hourly fee basis. You pay month in and month out as the inheritance lawyer works on your case.

You also pay the expenses as they are incurred by the attorney. This is the preferred method of payment for the lawyer. He works, he gets paid. Expenses are repaid when they are incurred. This works well for the client as long as the client has the resources to fund the lawsuit.

Some attorneys won’t agree to contingency fees when contesting a will in Texas. They will only handle a will contest on an hourly basis. Will contest can get expensive quickly. Will contest may last for several years. In addition to the fees, the expenses can become a burden as shown by the case where a doctor charged over $34,500.00 for providing expert testimony in a will contest.

CONTINGENCY FEES IN CERTAIN CASES

Many people do not have the resources to fund an expensive case contesting a will. If their choice is contesting a will on an hourly pay basis or not contesting a will, they are often left not being able to contest the will.

While many attorneys won’t agree to contingency fees when contesting a will in Texas, we handle a select few will contest on a contingency basis. We won’t handle every case using contingency fees when contesting a will but we handle some. Small estates don’t lend themselves to contingency fees when contesting a will, large estates do. Small and large are relative terms but generally, if your part should you win is less than $300,000, it is a small estate.

THE RIGHT CLIENT

We won’t agree to contingency fees when contesting a will unless our client has been or will be deprived of what is rightfully theirs by someone trying to gain an unfair advantage. If we agree to contingency fees when contesting a will, we advance cost and expenses as the case progresses. While you will have to repay these cost and expenses if you win, you are not out any money while the case is progressing. Because of the risk to the attorney, we are selective in the cases that we handle on a contingency. Attorney’s fees are paid before expenses are deducted from the recovery.

Board Certified

I am board certified. While it’s a common belief outside the legal profession that most or even all attorneys are board certified, that’s not the case.

The State Bar of Texas, Board of Legal Specialization recognizes attorneys in various areas of law. Out of 70,000 lawyers in Texas, only 10% are Board Certified.

What I Do:
– Trials involving inheritance disputes
– Trials of Property disputes related to inheritance
– Will contests
– Associated torts

What we do

She was an elderly woman living in an assisted living facility. She moved there years earlier when her husband died. She never had children. Her closest relatives lived out of town. They contacted our office after she passed away. At the funeral, they found out for the first time that she had recently executed a new will. The new will gave most of her property to a woman they barely knew. We immediately started investigating the case. We quickly filed a will contest, aggressively gathered the facts and shepherded the case through to a jury verdict in favor of our clients. Today, thanks to the quick action of our clients, the attempt to take advantage of this lady has been rejected by the jury and the property remains within the family, just as the woman had always planned. That’s what inheritance law means to us. Cases like this one are our bread and butter.

 

The rest of this article is the old webpage that we had in place of the information that you just read. You can read it although you will see that it is a repeat of what has been said. The above information is an easier read and less lawyerly than the paragraphs below but they contain essentially the same information.

 

 

Background

Robert Ray is a litigation attorney who has more than 35 years of trial experience. A lawyer who knows about litigation involving inheritance disputes.

“My practice is limited to trials involving inheritance disputes including will contest, related property disputes and associated torts. We don’t prepare wills. We don’t file wills for probate or distribute estates except when we are contesting a will or protecting a will from a contest. We handle a select few cases on contingency.”

“I enjoy the challenge of taking on difficult inheritance disputes and helping clients win. At the outset of every litigation matter, I work closely with each client. This work is fundamental to developing an effective litigation strategy.

I review the record of each of my cases. Some lawyers rely heavily on other colleagues and paralegals. Not me. I study each case in depth. I read every piece of paper in the case file. Thoughtful strategy. Mastery of the facts and law. These are the elements that distinguish my work.”

Board Certified

Robert Ray is Board Certified. The State Bar of Texas, Board of Legal Specialization recognizes attorneys in various areas of law, who because of experience, training and knowledge are awarded certificates of special competence. There are over 70,000 lawyers in Texas but only 10% are Board Certified.

There is no certification in litigation of contested probate matters. There is one certification in the non-litigation practice of Estate Planning and Probate and two in litigation areas: Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law. This office handles litigation involving contested probate matters and their associated torts. We do not handle the creation of wills and trust that an estate planning attorney would normally handle nor do we handle probate administration not involving contested litigation. Attorney Robert Ray is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His practice is limited to litigation involving inheritance disputes, related property disputes and associated torts.

Your Privacy

We take your privacy very seriously. We are keenly aware of the trust you place in us and our responsibility to protect your privacy. We treat all information provided to us with care and discretion.

Robert Ray is Board Certified

Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

Robert Ray Texas Inheritance

Click here to email us or to go to the contact form if you want to contact us about a Texas inheritance dispute.

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