Why Would You Contest A Will?
It is always difficult when a loved one dies, but learning later that you were left out of the will can cause even more pain. While you might not want to cause more stress for your family, you may question whether you have a right to claim part of your loved one’s estate.
If you believe the will is not legitimate, you may be able to contest the will in probate court. However, you must have a valid reason to file a will contest. Here are a few of the circumstances that allow you to contest a will:
- The will did not follow Texas laws for signatures – in Texas, the person making the will must sign it with at least two witnesses signing as well. If the person making the will wrote it by hand, the will must be exclusively in the testator’s handwriting, and must be signed by them.
- No capacity to sign – A person making and signing a will must have the mental capacity to understand what he or she is signing. If a person suffers from dementia or another disease that affects their ability to understand the document he or she signs, the legitimacy of the will can come into question.
- Undue influence – Undue influence in creating a will can be a real concern for the elderly or infirm. Caretakers, family members, or others may persuade physically and/or mentally weak persons to write some family members out of the will, give a larger or smaller share to others, or even include a person who would otherwise be excluded.
- Forged will – Some people try to forge a will, and might even succeed in getting a real signature on the will by convincing the person signing that it is a different financial or legal document.
Challenging a will in court is almost always a long and difficult process. If you believe that your loved one intended to leave you an inheritance but did not, you should consider contacting a lawyer experienced in probate litigation to find out if you have a case to contest the will.