Contesting a will in Texas is usually based on the ground of testamentary capacity. A testator has to have testamentary capacity.
Our elderly become dependent on others. That dependency can cause them to do what they are told not what they want.
A will has to be executed with the formalities set out by law. If those formalities are not followed, it can void a will.
The reasons or grounds for contesting a will.
|Lack of mental capacity
|Improper execution of will
This page provides the reader information about the reasons, sometimes referred to as the grounds, for contesting a will in Texas.
You must have grounds for contesting a will in Texas. You can’t contest a will just because you don’t like it. This page has discussions about the various grounds available in Texas to contest a will. I have also written about “5 grounds for contesting wills in Texas.“
The most common ground for contesting a will in Texas is that the testator did not have the mental capacity to write the will. The second most common ground is that the testator was under undue influence to write the will and he would not have written the will without the influence. Of course, there are other grounds also and they are discussed on this page. There may be a presumption of undue influence if a fiduciary is involved.
You should not take, or refrain from taking, any action based on this article. You should discuss your situation with your attorney who can advise you based on your situation.
If you have a question about a pending or anticipated lawsuit about contesting a will in Texas, use the Contact Us page at the top of the site to see if we can help.
Inheritance disputes involve someone who has taken advantage of the elderly. These cases are complicated and most often, but not always, involve outsiders. We represent you knowing that these inheritance disputes are private and painful family matters. We know this is a stressful time for you. We strive to obtain the quickest and best results possible so that you can get this troubling episode behind you.
When a will is contested, it is important in Texas to contest it early, otherwise, the burden of proof will shift to the contestant instead of the proponent.
When a will is filed for probate in Texas, the county clerk posts a notice on the courthouse wall. That is the only notice unless someone is a named beneficiary in the will that was filed. Just because you are a relative doesn’t mean you get personal notice.
You can file an application to determine heirship in Texas even if there is a will if the estate has not been closed.
Signing a will in Texas with a mark, initials or a full signature may be OK as long as the testator intended the document to be his will.
A person who is an Executor, Administrator, Trustee, or who has a Power of Attorney is a fiduciary. A fiduciary must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and show that each of his actions was in the beneficiaries’ best interest. When an action benefits the fiduciary in any way, there is a presumption of unfairness, and the fiduciary may be liable.
Can you represent yourself in court in an inheritance dispute? Yes. Is it wise, no. And remember, you can’t represent someone else in court and an estate is someone else.
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