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Grounds for contesting a will in Texas

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Dealing with estate-related affairs in the aftermath of a loved one’s passing may seem like an overwhelming endeavor at times. This can especially be the case if complications arise during probate. Arguably the most contentious of all these matters can occur during this process in situations where there is a challenge to the validity of the deceased’s will.

Contesting a will in the state of Texas can involve many complex issues, including a two-year time limit from the date of the will’s admittance to the probate court to formally file a challenge. A will also cannot be challenged just because someone disagrees with it or believes that particular portions of it are unfair. There are, however, several legal reasons that would justify invalidating a will. The most common grounds for contesting a will here in the Lone Star State include the following:

  • Due execution: Any missing legal requirement for the valid execution of a will, such as it not being signed in the presence of witnesses, could result in it being invalidated.
  • Lack of testamentary capacity: This refers to situations where the testator was not of sound mind when establishing the will due to reasons such as the influence of drugs or alcohol, dementia, or some other medical issue.
  • Undue influence: This can occur when another party who stands to benefit from the will pressures or manipulates the testator into doing something he or she otherwise wouldn’t have.
  • Legal non-compliance: The drafting, handling and executing of the will must follow certain state laws to be valid. Any missed requirement could justify the invalidation of some or all of a will.

Several other grounds could potentially lead to successfully contesting a will, including any type of fraud or forgery. Regardless of whether someone is an heir, beneficiary or creditor seeking to contest a will, or an executor or administrator on the other side of the equation, there is professional help and support readily available. An experienced Texas lawyer can provide guidance through all the intricacies involved in the process, minimize the chances of any missteps and work diligently toward achieving a client’s desired result.


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