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When is it appropriate to challenge a will?

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2023 | Estate Planning

Settling the estate of a loved one can be one of the most difficult and potentially traumatic aspects of losing a family member. In addition to the grief you feel, you also have to address estate assets and even settle his or her affairs. This can be a remarkably complicated and difficult process, especially when there are issues over how to move forward with estate administration requirements. One common reason this happens is because of disputes over the terms of the will.

If you have concerns about the terms of your loved one’s will, it is possible that you have grounds to challenge it. A will contest is a complicated process, and it is not always the best option in every situation. It may be beneficial for you and other members of your Texas family to learn more about when this could be a practical course of action.

Reasons why you may want to challenge a will

It is not easy to challenge a will. In fact, there are only specific circumstances during which this is an appropriate and effective course of action. After the death of an individual, his or her will is carefully scrutinized by a probate court to ensure that it is valid and representative of the wishes of the deceased. The circumstances in which it may be appropriate to contest a will include the following:

  • There is suspicion that someone coerced, manipulated or convinced the decedent to change an existing will or create a will in a certain way.
  • The individual lacked the capacity to make changes to a will, or to create a will and understand the impact of these decisions.

If there is evidence that either of these things occurred, it could result in an invalidation of the entire will, or a court may decide certain parts of it are no longer valid. If there is a determination that the entire will is invalid, state laws or the terms of a previous will could affect the distribution of estate assets.

The best outcome for your individual situation

Simply disliking the terms of a will is not a valid reason to challenge a will. You must have valid and serious concerns about the validity of the will or a newly updated will to do so. You may benefit from seeking a professional option regarding your specific situation and whether you have grounds to pursue legal action regarding the administration of your loved one’s estate.

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