Feelings of discontent over the details of a will are not uncommon after a person's passing. Some individuals may feel as if they did not get their fair share but do not have reason to formally question why the decision was made. However, other parties may have reason to move forward with probate litigation if there are serious concerns about the validity of the will.
In order to contest a will in court, Texas residents must have something to potentially gain or lose in the event that the document is considered invalid. These parties could be individuals or businesses, may be named in the document itself or have legal standing under state intestate laws in regard to inheriting assets. Though any interested party can bring a claim, some legal connection is necessary.
Additionally, someone who wants to contest a will needs grounds, or a valid reason, for doing so. Legal grounds could include having concerns that the decedent did not have the mental capacity to create a valid will, that someone else created a fraudulent document or that someone manipulated the person into changing the document, among others. It is important to remember that moving forward with a will contest is a complex process.
Because of the many legalities and steps involved in probate litigation, it is wise that Texas residents know what they are getting into before getting started. When concerns arise, it may be a smart move to first consult with probate attorneys to determine whether standing and grounds exist for a claim. If so, legal counsel could help in taking the next steps.