Will Contests

To contest a will, you must provide a basis or reason why you believe the will should not be honored by the courts. Wills can be contested for a number of reasons:

Testamentary capacity

Wills are assumed to have been written by the voluntary consent of the deceased, legally referred to as the testator. The testator must have been of sound mind when the will was written.

Lack of valid execution

With the exception of a holographic will, a will in the state of Texas is considered a legal document and must be signed by the testator (or a representative in the testator’s presence and at their instruction) and attested by at least two credible witnesses.

Undue influence

Undue influence is the exercise of control of one person over another to the degree that the person making the decisions no longer has free will. In most cases, the influence is found to be subtle, preying on the testator’s fears, emotions or shortcomings.

Legal noncompliance

Since wills are legal documents, they are required by law to be drafted, handled and executed in a specific manner that is consistent with the laws of the state.

Few things can compare to the loss of a loved one. You and your family need time to grieve and process through the changes in your lives. That time shouldn’t be marred with discovering that your loved one had been manipulated, defrauded or pressured into making decisions regarding their will, estate or assets. This is especially disturbing and painful if the culprit turns out to be a family member.

A will contest is a specific type of lawsuit that challenges the legality, or sometimes the very existence, of a will. This cases typically revolve around the question of whether a person was unlawfully manipulated into making bequests or other decisions regarding their estate. It can also help determine if the person had the legally mental capability to make those decisions to begin with.