A will is a fundamental building block of the vast majority of estates. Disputes often arise over wills near the time of death or after death. Beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries may allege that one or more of the following occurred or is occurring:
- Someone exercised undue influence and coerced the decedent to create or alter a will with a particular bias.
- A decedent was not of sound mind when a will was drafted or altered. Dementia, medication and/or mental competence may be factors.
- A will was signed without witnesses or was otherwise not signed properly and is therefore invalid. A typed, handwritten or holographic signature may be questioned for its authenticity.
- Contradictory wills may exist and the validity of the most recent one may be questioned.
- The executor or personal representative is not administering the will properly through the probate process.
- Someone asserts that he or she has a right to receive a portion of an estate although the will states otherwise.
Beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries engaged in undue influence cases and other disputes over wills often include some combination of brothers, sisters, children, stepchildren, first spouses, second or third spouses, caregivers, business partners, churches and other charitable organizations. Whatever the particulars of the allegations and whatever the position of a plaintiff or defendant in a will contest, qualified legal counsel is vital to protecting an estate and protecting one's rightful share of estate assets.
Contact An Attorney Promptly In Case Of A Will Contest
The sooner an experienced estate litigation lawyer is on board, the more options there can be for a satisfactory resolution. People who consult with me often hear that mediation can be the most effective pathway to resolving a will contest without depleting an estate through legal fees. To schedule a consultation in consideration of contesting a will or responding to a will contest in Texas, contact me today.