Learn who can contest a will in Texas
Published by Robert A. Ray
Start here to learn who can contest a will
On this page you will learn what you need to know about who can contest a will in Texas.
Do not take, or refrain from taking, any action based on what you read. You need to discuss your situation with your attorney who can advise you based on your facts.
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Who Can Contest a Will
Not everyone can contest a will. A person contesting a will must be an interested party.
The Texas Estates Code defines “interested persons,” in relevant part, to be: children, heirs, devisees, spouses, creditors, or any others having a property right in, or claim against, the estate being administered . . .” In order to contest a will, you must be an “interested party.”
The interest referred to must be a pecuniary one, held by the party either as an individual or in a representative capacity, which will be affected by the probate or defeat of the will. That means you must have a financial interest. An interest resting on sentiment or sympathy, or any other basis other than gain or loss of money or its equivalent, is insufficient. For instance, if you are a neighbor and you see that an undeserving child seems to be ending up with all of the property of their parents or grandparents, there’s nothing that you can do because your interest is not pecuniary. It is just altruistic. The only thing that you can do is to notify an interested party of your concerns. If they are not interested in contesting the will, there’s nothing else for you to do.
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.
Information about who can contest a will.
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