McCullough & McCullough | Lawyers Serving South Texas For Three Generations

Estate Administration
& Probate

Estate Planning

Real Estate Law

Business Law

Can a will be contested in probate court in Texas

Are you in disagreement with the terms or the execution of the will your benefactor leave behind? If so, Texas law allows you to contest the validity of the details in that will in probate court. Here is what you need to know.

Can you contest a will in Texas?

Yes, you can. However, you must have a good reason to contest that will. You should do it within two years when it is offered for probate, and the court appoints an executor. This also applies to out-of-state probate, i.e., when you live in another state, but the assets in question are in Texas.

Legal reasons for contesting a will

• Legal non-compliance – A will is a legal document in Texas; therefore, stringent laws and requirements must be followed when drafting, handling, and executing it. If you feel like the will was handled, executed, or drafted in a way that doesn’t follow Texas laws, you have legal grounds to contest it.
• Due execution – For a will to be valid in Texas, it must be in writing, signed by the testator, and witnessed by two or more credible people, who must also sign their names in that will. If one of these elements is missing, then that will is subject to contest in the probate court.
• Undue influence – Someone might persuade the testator to do something concerning their property or assets through manipulation, extortion, or blackmail. If you suspect this to be the case, then you must provide proof to show undue influence.
• Lacking testamentary capacity – This is when the testator didn’t fully understand the value of the property they owned or the people who had the right to inherit it. For example, if they left you out of the will or didn’t account for everything they own, you should contest it.

Interested parties

Interested parties who can contest a will include business partners, parents, siblings, spouses, children, grandchildren, aunts, and uncles. Also, if the testator names anyone who is not family or blood-related, like a charitable institution, as a beneficiary, then they will have the right to challenge the will in Texas. If you decide to contest a will for one of the above reasons, you may want legal assistance because the probate process can be complicated.

FindLaw Network