A will’s subtleties have enduring consequences for those who benefit from it, as well as for those who don’t. Gifts of assets can significantly improve living standards for friends and family who benefit from the will. In contrast, being given no resources may injure somebody whose expectations weren’t met by the drafted will.
If you feel that a will hasn’t been appropriately drafted or that it distributes assets unfairly or oddly, you may have grounds to challenge it. Here’s how you can go about contesting a will in Texas.
Reasons to Contest
Undue Influence: Invested individuals may have wrongfully informed the will’s maker decisions, favoring the intimidator. It tends to be hard to challenge a will on these grounds without sound and substantial evidence.
Improper Signage: An audit of a will or guidance from a probate attorney could uncover issues in the will, such as the absence of marks. This is probably the most direct way to contest a will, and it often alludes to other issues in the will.
Capacity of Choice: Should the testate be of unsound mind, you can contend that they couldn’t make the choices stated in the will. For instance, if a will is made by a senior with Alzheimer’s, its legitimacy is questionable.
How Do I Contest a Will?
If you suspect any of the above grounds for contesting a will, and you have sufficient evidence, keep these factors in mind:
Interested Party: To challenge a will, you need to be an invested individual. In other words, you should be in the contested will, a past will, or have some argument for why you should be in the contested will. For instance, suppose you’re a close cousin of the departed but aren’t referenced once in the will. In this case, you may have grounds to contest the will.
No-Contest Clauses: Some wills might contain a no-contest clause. The clause essentially says that if anybody named in a will challenges it, they will be taken out from the will. This is commonly added as a deterrent to challenging the will. Ironically, it’s often grounds for suspicion, and a qualified estate planning lawyer can take full advantage of this while contesting a will.
If, after all these considerations, you think you have grounds for contesting the will, then contact us at Mike Massey Law. We provide will lawyers and probate attorneys in Houston, Austin, Travis, and Harris County, TX.