What is a will contest in Texas?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A will contest in Texas “…is a formal objection raised against the validity of a will, based on the contention that the will does not reflect the actual intent of the testator (the party who made the will). Will contests generally focus on the assertion that the testator lacked testamentary capacity, was operating under an insane delusion or was subject to undue influence or fraud. A will may be challenged in its entirety, or only in part.”
In many states, a legal presumption of undue influence arises where a beneficiary under the will stands in a confidential relationship with the testator. For example, a person with power of attorney is in a confidential relationship with a testator.
A will contest in Texas may include a will with a no-contest or interrorem clause, with language along the lines of “any person who contests this will shall forfeit his legacy,” which operates to disinherit any person who challenges the validity of the will. However, since this clause is within the will itself, a successful challenge to the will renders the clause meaningless. And even if the person files the will contest in Texas loses the contest, a statute protects them if they acted in good faith and with just cause.