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Who can contest a will in Texas?

If you were to ask most people who can contest a will, they'd likely tell you that probably anyone could. That's not the case though. A good rule of thumb is that a person wishing to contest the will must be a direct descendant of the deceased. While others may be entitled to contest a will, they'll have a lot to prove to do so.

Any individual who was listed as an heir in a previous version of a will has adequate legal standing to contest a later version of it that they were largely or altogether cut out of. Anyone who was previously appointed as an executor may have adequate standing to do so as well.

Proving that a testator was of testamentary capacity isn't easy

There are many conditions that a testator must meet for their will to be upheld as valid in Texas. First, the person drafting the will must be of testamentary capacity when executing it. This means that the testator must have enough of their mental faculties to understand what their assets they have and what the implications of making certain choices are. A common concern that many people have is that it's hard to prove that someone is of testamentary capacity.

Data published by the Alzheimer's Association shows that as many as one in six people elderly individuals over the age of 80 are either suffering from or at risk for dementia. It's unclear how many wills are challenged because a testator is believed to have lacked testamentary capacity when drafting it.

What are the various types of easements that exist?

If you have a parcel of land or real estate that someone else enjoys the use of, then they may have what's called an easement on the property. This term refers to anyone who maintains a right to access someone else's land without having an actual title to it. An easement is a right that is passed one from one buyer to the next. Several types of easements exist.

An implied easement is one that is thought to exist because an individual has been given access to use a piece of land previously. A person may assume that they still can cross their neighbor's land to get to their driveway even when a new owner takes it over because they've done it in the past.

What often leads to family fights in probate court?

It often is a confusing time after someone dies. It's common for family members to want to keep the memory of their loved one alive by getting their hands on something that belonged to their relatives. Court battles often ensue when family members enter their deceased loved one's home and start grabbing everything that they can without going through the appropriate channels such as the probate process first.

Most decedents' estates must pass through the probate process in Texas before any assets can be distributed to heirs. The reason that this must happen is to make sure that the testator or will writer's final tax return is filed and that their creditors are paid. It's only after this happens that any assets that remain in the estate can be distributed to a decedent's heirs.

Ways to resolve a conflict with your business partner

You go into business with a partner with the idea that doing so will help you accelerate growth, earn more money and better enjoy the opportunity.

While this may be true, don't overlook the fact that you could come face-to-face with a partnership dispute at some point. Maybe this happens after a few months in business together. Or maybe it happens many years down the road.

Sibling rivalry and estate litigation

Estate disputes happen for a lot of reasons, and they often pit siblings against one another. This can be a very difficult time, no matter which side of the dispute you are on.

One reason that these disputes take place is because of sibling rivalry. Remember, it does not end in childhood. It is very much alive and well in adult relationships. Siblings often just mask it by limiting contact with each other or by keeping it in check around their parents.

Why you should think of your employees when selling your business

Many factors motivate business owners to decide to sell their companies. They may decide to retire, want to pursue a different line of work or decide to sell the company for financial gain. There are many different factors that business owners should consider, however, before they decide to sell. You may want to start by considering your employees.

How will the sale affect them?

Using environmental arguments to challenge eminent domain

As a property owner, it's upsetting to learn that the government wants to seize your land to build oil and gas pipelines or to engage in other fossil fuel-related projects. You may initially question whether the government has the right to use your land without gaining your permission first. The truth is that they can do this in certain situations.

Eminent domain is essentially the legal right of the government to take private property, as long as it is taken for the benefit of the public. Initiating this process means that the government needs to ask you as the property owner. If you agree to this, a negotiation for sale will be reached. If you do not want the government to take over your land, you will need to challenge eminent domain.

Can you expel a shareholder?

You have a small business, and you sold shares to get capital to start the company. You're not the sole owner or the only one in charge of making decisions. The terms of the contract state that all of the shareholders need to work together to make major business decisions and decide on the direction the company is going to go.

Unfortunately, one of the shareholders refuses to cooperate. They disagree with everything. They never communicate. They miss meetings. You get a hostile sense from them even when they are there. It seems like they're doing everything in their power to hold the company back. Can you expel them?

You can challenge an unfair executor

Many people might think that dishonest executors of a will mostly exist in stories. Unfortunately, it is a reality for many families. Whether it is through the undue influence on the creator of the will or bad faith, some executors might seek to take advantage of the situation.

Challenging the executor during probate can be a long and challenging road, but it is often necessary to protect your loved one's legacy and your rights. But first, it is critical to understand the situations when you can contest the executor.

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