What If We Need to Contest a Will in Texas?
Losing a beloved family member or dear friend can be devastating, especially if the death was unexpected. Memorial services may be especially hard to get through, but some comfort can often be found when friends and families come together to share memories, along with grief.
In our culture, funerals are usually carried out within days of a person's death. It is often after the funeral when a will is found or presented by someone who was entrusted with it. Usually, the will more or less says what family and friends expect it to say. Other times, however, the terms of a will can take everyone by surprise.
When the will is far different than expected
Such was the case for the family of Eugene Handley, a World War II veteran who lived at Woodland Springs Nursing Center in Waco. After his death, his family learned he had changed his will to leave more than $100,000 to Melissa Adler, the former marketing director of the nursing home.
Prosecutors alleged Adler took advantage of Mr. Handley, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, because he was not competent to change his will. Adler claimed Mr. Handley changed his will voluntarily. After a jury trial, Adler was convicted of two counts of securing the execution of a document by deception and faces a ten-year prison sentence.
Talk to an attorney knowledgeable in will contests
The important point of this case is that nothing would have been done if a loved one had not raised a red flag. If you recently lost someone and were surprised to learn what was in the will, it may be worth digging a little deeper. An experienced estate planning and probate litigation attorney in Texas can explain the law related to your situation and recommend next steps.