Read about the time limits to contest a will in Texas

Published by Robert A. Ray

– Robert Ray

Two Years

Basic Rule: In general, a will contest must be filed within two years from the date the will is admitted to probate in Texas.

It is advantageous to contest a will before it has been admitted to probate or even before it has been filed. But the two year statute of limitations allows you to contest a will in Texas even if it has been admitted to probate.

In Texas, you have two years after a will is admitted to probate to file a will contest. Note, it is not two years from death or even two years from the date the will is filed for probate. It is two years from the date the will is admitted to probate. What does that mean?

When a will is filed for probate, the clerk puts up a notice on the courthouse wall that the will has been filed for probate. Usually, that is the only notice required. They are not required to notify each heir that a will has been filed. After a time, usually several weeks to several months depending on how busy the probate court is, the judge will set a hearing on the will. If no contest has been filed, the judge will admit the will to probate at that hearing. That’s the date when the clock starts ticking. If a will contest is not filed within two year of that date, the will cannot be contested unless it is a forgery or if the contestant was a minor but has now reached adulthood. A good general discussion is here.

The discussions below are about the statute of limitations on contesting a will in different circumstances.

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.

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Can you probate a will after four years?

A will has to be filed for probate within four years of the death of the testator. After four years, a will can be filed as a muniment of title but only if the person filing the will is not "in default." When a late filed will is opposed, the issue is usually...

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