How to contest a will in Texas
by Robert A. Ray
Will contest are trials and require knowledge of procedure, discovery, evidence and other trial preparation.
Statute of Limitations
In general, you have two years after a will has been admitted to probate. A meritorious contest can be lost if delayed.
How to Contest a Will
We realize this can be a confusing, frustrating, and emotional process. Below, we have laid out the steps you need to take and how you can take them in order to make the process easier for you.
- You have to be an interested party.
- You need to hire an attorney to represent you.
- You have to act before the statute of limitations runs.
- Can I contest a will without an attorney?
- What happens when you contest a will?
If you try to represent yourself, bad things can happen as shown by this article:
If a will is successfully challenged, the court may then turn to the decedent’s previous valid will if there is one to determine what should be done with the estate.
If there was no previous valid will, or if it has been lost, then the decedent (the person whose estate the will is about) will be considered to have died intestate, or without a will.
At that point, the court will turn to laws that govern how an estate is divided when no will has been left behind.
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.
What is the difference between a divorce and an annulment in Texas and how can it affect inheritance rights?
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.
A Texas will or trust can be reformed, in limited circumstances, based on a scrivener’s error (a mistake made by the attorney preparing the document as opposed to a mistake by the clients.)
A will must dispose of all property in all circumstances. If it doesn’t, then the laws of intestate succession will determine who gets the property.
Challenging a pay of death (POD) or joint account with right of survivorship account is difficult but cah be done. Don’t accept them at face value.
When a case or claim is filed in the wrong court, you may lose your claim without being heard. If your case is dismissed after the statute of limitations has run, you are out of luck no matter how good your claim was.
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