In a will contest, can you recover your attorney’s fees if they were reasonable and necessary?

Robert Ray

Texas law allows you to recover your attorney’s fees if you offer a will for probate even if the will is rejected. As long as the jury finds that you acted in good faith and with just cause, you may collect your attorney’s fees. Estates Code §352.052.

In a recent will contest, the proponent offered a 2003 will for probate. The contestants contested the 2003 will and offered an older will for probate. The jury rejected the 2003 will and the older will offered by the contestants was admitted to probate. They jury found that the testator lacked testamentary capacity when he executed the 2003 will offered by the proponent.

The jury also found that the proponent had incurred $600,000.00 in reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees in unsuccessfully offering the 2003 will but answered “no” to the question had she offered the will in good faith and with just cause. The court held that the evidence supported the jury’s answer. The proponent then claimed that there was a conflict between the jury’s finding that the fees were reasonable and necessary and their finding that the proponent did not act in good faith and with just cause. The court said that proponent waived this issue because she did not make her objection about the conflict before the jury was discharged, which was required. No. 04-09-00777-CV.

While this case deals with legal technicalities, it does point out that you can get reimbursed for your reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees even if you lose but only if the jury finds that you acted in good faith and with just cause.

UPDATES

There are new cases all the time that clarify or change the law on inheritance disputes. Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog.

'

Subscribe

Recent Posts

Who Can Contest a Texas Probate?

Who Can Contest a Texas Probate?

Who Can Contest a Texas Probate Background In order to contest a Texas probate, you have to have standing. Standing means a person has a right to bring a lawsuit in Texas. To have standing in a Texas probate proceeding, you have to be an interested party. Facts In a...

Signing a Will in All the Wrong Places

Signing a Will in All the Wrong Places

Where do you sign a Texas will? In a recent case, 01-20-00073-CV, a Texas will was offered for probate. The trial court did not admit the will to probate because the testator just initialed six pages and did not sign on the seventh page where the document had a space...

How do I claim my inheritance Texas

Claiming an inheritance in Texas An inheritance can never compensate for the death of a family member. But inheritance is not about greed; it is about custody and control of your property. Claiming an inheritance in Texas is usually straightforward if you are a named...

Can a murderer inherit his victim’s property?

Texas Slayer Rule Affirmative Action Required The Texas State Constitution has a provision that says ""No conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate." The Texas Estates Code §201.058 (Probate Code §41(d)) is similar. Those two provisions have...

WHAT CONSTITUTES A SIGNATURE ON A WILL

What constitutes a signature A holographic will is one that is wholly in the handwriting of the testator and signed by him. What constitutes a signature is often contested. Texas recognizes holographic wills but other states do not. The difference between a...

The Author

Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
© Copyright 2023 | All Rights Reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This