Who Can Contest a Will?
Legal Representation in Will Disputes in Houston & Fort Worth
When someone passes away, it can lead to a very difficult and emotional time for the decedent’s children, other relatives, and friends. Where a will has been made by the decedent, it will lay out how that person wanted his or her property, assets, and belongings to be distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. In some cases, a son, daughter, or other relative may feel shunned or left out by the will’s contents or may feel that the will was not written or executed properly. This can then lead to a contest over the will.
If you are someone who is involved in a potential or ongoing will contest in Fort Worth, Houston, or the surrounding areas, you will likely need legal guidance about the matter. At Keith Morris Attorney at Law, you can work with an attorney who has 20 years of experience handling wills and probate matters in Texas. Our firm provides high-performance legal counsel in negotiating on your behalf in will disputes or in litigating such issues in the courtroom. We will work closely with you in striving to help you achieve the favorable results you seek in any will contest.
Contesting a Will in Texas
A will that has been properly written and executed according to law is not a document that can easily be overturned. However, should it be shown in court that certain issues in its execution were questionable, the matter can be litigated in court. In general, you must have “standing” and grounds to contest a will. “Standing” refers to the idea that you have a financial interest in the terms of the will and its resulting estate.
Under Texas probate law, those who have standing to contest a will would be the parties mentioned in the will, such as:
- Other relatives
- Other beneficiaries
- Any party with a claim against the estate
These are termed heirs, spouses, devisees, creditors, and any other party with a property right or valid claim against the estate. For example, creditors who are owed money by the estate may also contest the terms of the will if those terms prevent them from being reimbursed for valid debts.
The grounds for contesting a will would consist of reasons why the will should be overturned with new terms replacing old ones. Common grounds for disputing a will can include fraud, undue influence (where the person wasn’t acting on their own free will or was acting without understanding what the consequences would be), a mistake in fact, improper execution of the will during its execution and signing (procedural errors), the fact that the decedent who wrote the will had a diminished capacity, such as from a cognitive disease like dementia or Alzheimer’s, or that mistakes in the accounting of the estate were made. Also, if a later will has been found that might have superseded the earlier one, it may also become the grounds for a dispute.
Keith Morris Attorney at Law – Here to Assist You in Any Contested Will Case
If you need legal representation in a will contest, whether as an heir, beneficiary, other interested party, or as the executor of the estate, we urge you to turn to our firm. With over two decades of experience in handling even the most extensive and complicated of probate matters, our firm understands all of the intricacies involved in handling these issues both inside and outside of the probate courtroom. You can count on us for dedicated legal service aimed at helping you achieve the positive outcome you seek.
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If you call Keith Morris, he will personally pick up the phone and handle your case with the attention it deserves.
Your first free case evaluation with us can be done through video conference, phone call, or an in-person meeting.
Keith Morris is proud to be the litigator that takes on the most complicated and difficult cases to court and getting his clients optimal results.
With over 20 years of legal experience, Keith Morris has devoted his efforts to sharpening his skills in probate, trust, and estate planning and litigation.