Challenging a will occurs when there are disputes over the validity of a will, leading to a will contest.
In Texas, specific legal grounds exist on which people can contest a will. This article explores the reasons for challenging a will in Texas probate.
1. Lack of capacity
The testator’s mental capacity is one of the most common reasons for challenging a will in Texas. To execute a valid will, a person must have sufficient mental capacity at the time of the execution. If the challenger can prove that the testator lacked the capacity to understand the nature of their actions or the consequences of their decisions, they can contest the will.
2. Undue influence
Undue influence is another common reason for challenging a will. Undue influence occurs when a person uses their power or influence to coerce the testator into making certain decisions that do not reflect their true wishes. To prove undue influence, the challenger must demonstrate that the influencer had a significant impact on the testator’s decision-making process and that the testator would not have made the same decision absent that influence.
3. Fraud or forgery
Friends and family of the deceased can also contest a will if there is evidence of fraud or forgery. Fraud occurs when someone intentionally deceives the testator into executing a will that does not reflect their true wishes. Forgery occurs when someone alters the will after the testator has signed it or creates a false will altogether. If the challenger can provide evidence of fraud or forgery, the courts may invalidate the will.
If you believe that a will does not reflect the true wishes of the deceased, seek legal guidance from a qualified professional who can help you navigate the process and protect your legal rights.