Brock Upham Yost PLLC
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When can you challenge a will?

The time following the death of a loved one can be emotionally challenging and filled with many changes. During this time, going through the motions of administering their estate plan can be difficult for all involved. However, when circumstances arise that cause you to question the validity of the will, the process can become even more complex.

You cannot challenge or contest a will for just any reason. While family members may be unhappy with certain terms or angry about being left out of a will, hurt or bitter feelings are not enough to challenge a will in a Texas courtroom. Courts view wills as the voice of the deceased individual, so they typically honor these wishes unless a valid reason can prove otherwise.

Who can contest a will?

Only certain individuals can contest a will. Only "interested parties," or those with a valid claim to the will, may challenge it. These parties can include spouses, children, other heirs or beneficiaries, creditors and potentially more.

Common reasons to contest a will

According to The Balance, there are four common reasons to contest a will:

  1. Ignorance of Texas laws. Individuals must sign wills according to strict state procedures to validate them. One of the most common examples of this is signing a will without the required two witnesses present.
  2. Undue influence. Often invoked in cases where a will was signed later in life, undue influence means that someone had unfair or forced influence into the will. The influencer may have put pressure on the individual or isolated them.
  3. Lack of testamentary capacity. This means that the testator, or deceased individual, lacked the required understanding of the legal implications of signing the will. This could include dementia or other reasons for incapacity.
  4. Fraudulent activity. Outright fraud can occur when someone tricks the testator into signing the will, thinking the document is something else. The Balance states that witnesses can be key in uncovering whether fraud was involved.

Depending on the circumstances, there may be other reasons to contest a will, including the existence of another will, forgery and more. Contesting a will can become quickly combative, time-consuming and emotional. Consult with an attorney to determine your options to move forward.

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Brock Upham Yost PLLC
616 E. Blanco Rd.
Suite 202B
Boerne, TX 78006

Phone: 830-275-5607
Phone: 830-816-9033
Fax: 830-584-0774
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