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Who can challenge a will?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2022 | Probate Litigation

Probate litigation in Texas can step from disputes made against someone’s will. The personal and public wishes of an estate are expressed in a will. Once someone dies, a public hearing at a local court is motioned to account for a will. During this probate, a will can be legally contested by anyone present. This is a benefit depending on who you are and your vicinity to the estate.

Parties of interest

Parties of interest include anyone who believes that they have a claim to assets within an estate. Parties of interest are important to consider because they establish anyone’s likely share of an estate. Without accounting for these parties, a judge would find it difficult to prove a claim made against a will. If, for example, a lost child shows up to probate, they might have a sound biological argument, but other children mentioned in the will don’t instantly lose their interest.

Those named in the will

During probate litigation, those named in a will have a precedence. This precedence can be overridden by a judge, but a convincing case must be made against the will. Undue influence, written errors or mental issues are suitable reasons to challenge a will. Unless someone has a clear way to show mistakes or prove how an estate is inequitably divided, the people named in the will remain top parties of interest.

Conflicts between parties of interests

Challenging a will is not just as simple as speaking out. An attorney has to be aware of each party’s view. In essence, someone who challenges a will should expect that their challenge will be challenged by others of interest.

Probate litigation in Texas

Contesting a will isn’t just about getting someone’s voice heard. It’s about knowing how others will react to claims and the counter claims they’ll make. Tact and preparation are necessary because a judge will exhaust their authority to confirm or rebuttal claims made against a will.