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What to Know About Contesting a Will in Texas

 Posted on December 19, 2022 in Estate Planning and Probate

Bexar County, TX contested will lawyerThe aftermath of a loved one’s death can be a time of great difficulty for various reasons. A common source of contention after a loved one dies arises when it is time to read the last will and testament. A person’s will is a blueprint for how they would like their assets and property to be allocated to their beneficiaries upon death. Beneficiaries are generally named within the will. Sometimes, one or more heirs of the will may argue that the will is invalid. 

When issues like these arise, the situation may be addressed through probate litigation. Beneficiaries can take legal action if they believe the estate or trust administration was done improperly. This realm of law can get quite complex. You will need competent legal representation if you are interested in contesting a will. Consult with a probate litigation attorney to ensure your rights remain protected throughout working to ensure your loved one’s wishes are followed correctly. 

When May a Will Be Contested? 

If an interested party wishes to contest a will, they generally must do so within two years of the will being admitted to the court during the probate process. Parties interested may include beneficiaries named in the will, heirs standing to receive property, the spouse of the deceased, and any other people who may have a claim against the deceased estate, like a creditor. Probate litigation is used to address the will’s authenticity. Someone can claim a will is invalid for many reasons, such as the following: 

  • The deceased’s mental aptitude – When someone creates and implements a will, the individual must have something known as “testamentary capacity.” This means that the person creating the will needs to fully understand the extent of assets they possess, their business interests, the individuals poised to inherit their assets, and the decisions outlined in the will regarding the disposition of their property. Therefore, someone can claim that the will is void because the creator of the will lacked the mental competence to understand what they were signing, resulting in the will going against their true desires. 

  • Unwarranted influence – Someone may claim a will to be invalid if they believe the deceased party was manipulated into signing a will not based upon their true wishes. Situations of unwarranted influence may occur if the deceased party changes their will to exclude or disinherit relatives and, instead, leaves the majority of their assets to a person who was manipulating and had power over the creator of the will, like a caretaker. 

  • Deception – Cases of fraud may arise if someone has reason to believe the deceased was fooled into signing the will under the false pretense that they were signing another document. An interested party may also claim that the signature on a will was forged or altered. 

Contact a Bexar County Contested Will and Estate Lawyer

If you are interested in contesting a will, you will need a knowledgeable attorney to represent you and protect your rights. Contact the esteemed Comal County contested will and estate attorney with Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law. Call 210-535-0870 to schedule a free consultation.


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