March 06, 2023
When a loved one passes away, the last thing anyone wants to consider is contesting their Will. However, sometimes circumstances arise where it becomes necessary to challenge the validity of a Will. Whether you are an executor of a Will, a beneficiary, or someone who believes they have been unfairly left out, it is essential to understand the legal process and what to expect.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the primary basis for contesting a will and how an attorney can help navigate the process.
Can You Contest a Will?
Yes, you can contest a Will. Contesting a Will in Texas is a challenging and demanding process. It can be done for various reasons, such as the deceased not having the required mental capacity or not fully understanding and approving the Will’s contents.
Grounds for Contesting a Will
These are some of the critical grounds for contesting a will.
The Deceased Didn’t Have the Required Mental Capacity
For a Will to be considered valid, the person making it (the testator) must have the mental capacity to understand the nature and extent of their property, the natural objects of their bounty, and the disposition they are making of their property. If the testator did not have the required mental capacity at the time the Will was made, the Will could be challenged.
The Deceased Didn’t Correctly Understand and Approve of the Content of the Will
A Will can also be challenged if it can be shown that the testator didn’t fully understand and approve the contents of the Will at the time it was made. It can include situations where the testator was under duress, undue influence, or the Will was not adequately explained to them.
Another ground for contesting a will is if it can be shown that the testator was unduly influenced by another person when making the Will. It can include situations where the testator was coerced or manipulated into making certain dispositions in their Will that they would have not made if they were not unduly influenced.
Forgery and Fraud
A Will can also be challenged if it is found to have been forged or obtained through fraud. It includes situations where the Will was forged or altered or where someone used fraudulent means to obtain the testator’s signature on the Will.
If a Will is ambiguous or contains a mistake and the true intention of the testator can be determined, the Will can be rectified to reflect the testator’s true intentions.
The Contestation Process
The process of contesting a will in Texas begins with filing a petition in the probate court, or otherwise, where the Will is being probated. The petition should state the grounds for the Will being challenged and the relief sought. The court will then hold a hearing where evidence can be presented, and the parties can argue.
When a Will is contested, someone is questioning the Will’s validity or how the assets are distributed. This can be a complicated and emotional process, and it is essential to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the various steps.
How Villeda Law Group Can Help
Villeda Law Group can help in several ways when dealing with a will contestation case. They can –
Help You Understand the Legal Process
Villeda Law Group can explain the legal process to you and answer any questions. We will also be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.
Villeda Law Group can help you gather evidence that supports your position in the case. This may include witness statements, financial records, and other documents that can help establish the Will’s validity or invalidity.
Review the Will
We can evaluate the Will and determine if any legal issues or concerns need to be addressed. We can also identify any potential challenges to the Will, such as undue influence or lack of capacity.
Represent You in Court
We will represent you and argue your case before a judge. We will present evidence and make legal arguments on your behalf.
Let the Villeda Law Group Handle Your Will Contestation Case
Contesting a will involves filing a petition in probate court, presenting evidence, and making arguments. The process can be complex and requires some level of expertise. An attorney can assist in navigating the process and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
If you are in a situation where you or someone you know is contesting a will, contact Villeda Law Group for help navigating through the will contest process for a successful result. Schedule an appointment with us today for a consultation on how to proceed with contesting a will.