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Contesting a will in Texas

Posted by Chris Peterson | Jan 03, 2013 | 0 Comments

Contesting a will in Texas

In the aftermath of a loved one's passing, one of the many hurdles survivors face is probating the will.  The hurdle can quickly become a mountain if someone decides to contest the will.  Regardless which side of a will contest you find yourself on, you should seek the help of an experienced probate attorney.

A person who wants to contest a will must first establish basic grounds.  Texas law provides that only an “interested person” can contest a will.  An interested person may be an heir, a spouse, a devisee, or any other person or entity that has a legitimate claim against the estate.

A person who can establish that he or she is an interested party may then continue contesting a will for a variety of reasons.  Some common grounds in contesting a will include:

  1. Lack of testamentary capacity. This means the deceased was not of sound mind at the time he or she executed the will.
  2. Undue influence.  This claim will be raised if the contestor believes the deceased was pressured by another party into making the will or including certain terms in the will.
  3. Mistake or Fraud.  In this type of claim, the contestor argues that the deceased mistakenly signed the will or was tricked into signing it.
  4. Improperly executed.  A contestor may assert the will was not executed in compliance with Texas law.
  5. Revoked.  The contestor may have a claim that the deceased revoked the will prior to death by destroying the will or executing a newer will.
  6. Forgery.  The contestor may assert that the deceased did not sign the will.

The experienced estate planning attorneys at the Peterson Law Group will prepare your last will and testament with an eye toward eliminating or minimizing potential will contests.  Likewise, we can help you pursue or defend a will contest to ensure your loved one's wishes are followed.

At the Peterson Law Group, we understand that contesting a will or defending against a will contest adds more stress to an already stressful time in your life.  Make an appointment to discuss your situation with an experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning attorney at the Peterson Law Group.  To schedule a consultation, call us today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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