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Do you have the right to challenge a will in Texas?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Estate Planning

The aftermath of losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult times anyone here in Texas or across the nation will ever face. This can especially hold true if you are suddenly dealing with any estate-related issues that can create a high level of tension between family members. Perhaps the most emotional and contentious of all of these involves situations where there is a dispute over the legitimacy of a will.

If you are seeking to challenge your loved one’s will because you believe that it is improper, there are professional resources readily available to help guide you through this complex process. Under Texas state law, you have two years from the time of the will’s admittance to the probate court to formally contest it. You are also not entitled to challenge a will just because you think it is unfair or you disagree with it.

The most common grounds for contesting a will

In the state of Texas, the following are the four most common grounds for which you may have the right to challenge a will:

  • Undue influence: This may have taken place if the deceased individual faced inappropriate pressure from another beneficiary or caretaker into creating a will or modifying or altering certain parts of an existing will.
  • Lack of testamentary capacity: The deceased may not have been of sound mind during the establishment of the will due to dementia, intoxication or some other medical issue.
  • Improper execution: If a legal requirement of a will is missing, such as one did not write or sign it, this could result in it being invalid.
  • Lack of legal non-compliance: There are specific state laws for wills involving their drafting, handling and executing. Any overlooked requirement could result in a successful challenge to part of a will or its entirety.

Finally, you have the right to challenge a will if you believe it lacks authenticity due to it being fraudulent or forged.

With all the potential intricacies and legalities involved in the process of contesting a will combined with the limited timeframe to act, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of the support and assistance from an experienced attorney. A savvy attorney can answer all of your questions and concerns, thoroughly analyze the unique circumstances of your case and increase the odds of achieving your desired outcome.

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