Each state handles potential will contests differently. Texas has its own set of laws dictating who can and cannot contest a will. Today, we will take a look at who has legal standing and what you can do if you wish to contest a will.
Under Texas law, you must simply have an interest in an estate to be able to contest it. There are specific definitions for what makes an “interested person”, though. The Probate Code defines an interested person as:
- Anyone interested in the welfare of an incapacitated individual. This includes minors.
- People with a claim against the administered property.
- People with a property right. This includes heirs, spouses, devisees, and creditors.
As is the case with most states, the party’s interest must be pecuniary in nature. This means that it must involve the gain or loss of money. The probate or defeat of the will can have a profound effect on interested parties. For example, a beneficiary that was nearly written out of the newest will may wish to contest this. A distributee who stands to gain more without a will may also want to contest one that exists. It is up to you to prove that you fit the requirements for a legally interested individual.
Are you interested in reading more about estate planning? Take a look at our linked web page on the same topic. You can read about will contests and other important pieces of information. Though estate planning may seem complex and overwhelming, starting here can be a good first step to learning more.