Throughout life, many Texas residents may have had difficult relationships with their loved ones. As a result, they may consider leaving a family member out of the will or otherwise excluding them from receiving anything from the estates after their passing. While this is certainly an option for anyone, it may bring about concerns over the probate process.
When excluding a person from receiving any assets from an estate, some parties may want to give a reason for this exclusion. This information could be included in a will, but it is not entirely necessary. In fact, providing a reason could give cause for the excluded person to challenge that reason in hopes of receiving assets to which he or she feels entitled.
Because the possibility of challenging a will that excludes a person exists, some individuals may consider including a "no contest" clause in their wills. This clause can stipulate that anyone who does challenge or contest the contents of the will can face negative repercussions, such as forfeiting any assets they may have been bequeathed. Additionally, some people may think that they should leave an excluded person a minuscule amount from the estate rather than nothing at all, but such action could potentially seem insulting and give more cause for someone to challenge a will.
The probate process can be a complicated affair, and if someone has been left out of a will, it can be more difficult, especially if the excluded person chooses to challenge the document. As a result, it may be wise for Texas executors in this type of situation to understand what they may face if a contest does take place. It may also be helpful to determine what could happen if someone challenges a will despite a no contest clause.