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…)
Getting someone to make a will may be a crime in Texas. In a 2015 case out of the Dallas Court of Appeals, a man was convicted of a crime for getting an elderly woman to make a will naming him as a beneficiary. After the woman died, he filed the will for probate. Those actions constituted a crime according to the court of appeals because they were done with criminal intent. The court stated that “If performed with the requisite criminal intent to deprive whoever would otherwise have taken (the deceased’s) property after her death, the conduct alleged in this indictment—causing (the deceased) to execute a will in his favor and then filing the will for probate—amounts to a criminal offense.” The court upheld a ten-year sentence.
This case does not apply to someone who urges an elderly person to make a will. Everyone should be urged to make a will. In the case decided by the Dallas Court of Appeals, there was evidence that the man who was charged, who was not related to the deceased, talked her into making a will for his benefit while she was in the hospital during her last illness. The lady had a child, and her previous will named the child as her beneficiary.
Procuring a will may be a crime.
Can An Executor Or Trustee Go To Jail?
As with most legal questions, it depends.
Failure To Follow An Order
When a judge orders someone to do something and that person doesn’t do it, the judge can hold him in contempt and put him in jail.
Failure To Pay A Debt Of The Estate
In cases where an Executor or Trustee has been ordered to pay a debt out of the estate, he can’t be put in jail if he refuses because the Texas and U.S. constitutions prohibit putting someone in jail for a debt. It doesn’t mean that the Executor or Trustee doesn’t have to pay the debt, he does. It just means that the court will have to use another method to get the debt paid such as seizing assets rather than jail.
Failure To Distribute The Assets To A Beneficiary.
However, when an Executor or Trustee refuses an order of the judge to turn over estate assets to a beneficiary, he can be put in jail if he refuses even if the asset is money. The beneficiary owns the property in question. It is not a debt. Courts reason that the Executor or Trustee is holding the assets in trust for the rightful owner, the beneficiary. The critical difference is that the Executor or Trustee possesses the property of another but refuses to deliver it to the rightful owner, despite being ordered to do so. Since it is not a debt it is off to jail he goes if he refuses. 316 sw3 787.