Houston Will Contests

If you are thinking about filing an action to contest a will in Houston, Texas, it is crucial to understand the circumstances in which you have grounds to do so. Texas law only recognizes specific legal grounds for contesting a will. If you need help disputing a document, or responding to someone’s will contest, it is advisable that you speak with an attorney who specializes in estate litigation.

A skilled trust and estates attorney from Romano & Sumner can explain your legal rights and options while helping you to pursue the most favorable outcome to your case, so that you can focus on your loved one’s passing.

Eligibility to Contest a Will in Houston

Texas law only allows certain parties to contest a will, namely individuals who would receive an economic benefit were the document to be validated or overturned. The individual who challenges the will must be able to provide supporting evidence that they have a viable stake in the outcome of the will contest.

Someone’s ability to contest a will is not limited to family members of the decedent alone. For example, a debt collector could have an economic stake in the administration of the decedent’s assets. In any case, if someone is to contest a will, they must do so by a specific date. Once a will is admitted to probate, any interested parties have a maximum of 24 months in which to begin a will contest. With that being said, if someone is thinking about disputing a will, it is vital that they speak with a legal advisor to ensure they have reasonable grounds to do so and do not miss a limitation deadline to submit their contest.

Common Reasons for Will Challenges in Houston

There are many reasons an individual may want to challenge a deceased person’s will. Predatory caretakers or family members all too frequently coerce elderly Texans into disinheriting family members. Sometimes, decedents may execute multiple wills over their lifetimes. Houston probate judges commonly preside over the following proceedings seeking to:

  • Invalidate a will – There are several formal requirements for a Will to be valid in Texas. A person can contest the formal validity of a Will or the mental capacity of a testator to make the Will. Wills executed when an elderly parent had dementia or under pressure from predator family members may be invalid.
  • Probate an alternative will – When multiple wills exist, the probate court must determine which document is to be executed for the control of the decedent’s estate. While multiple valid testamentary documents could determine asset distribution, the latest executed document generally controls the estate.
  • Establish the existence of a testamentary instrument – Texas requires that estate holders adhere to certain formalities when executing a will. However, documents such as letters or journal entries could be considered wills under the right circumstances. Establishing the existence of a will could prevent an estate from being distributed only to the closest blood relatives.

Probate disputes require substantial testimonial and documentary evidence. A local attorney from Romano & Sumner could assist interested persons support their claims during will contests.

Speak with a Houston Will Contest Attorney  

At Romano & Sumner, we specialize in Will Contests and other estate and fiduciary litigation. Call one of the skilled attorneys from Romano & Sumner today to receive a free, confidential assessment of your potential case and find out more about your legal options.

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    Romano & Sumner, PLLC

    Romano & Sumner, PLLC