Step By Step Guide To Contest A Will In Texas

How to Contest a Will

What happens when you contest a will

What happens when you contest a willAfter gathering all the information from you, your attorney will file the contest in the appropriate court. Through your attorney, you will be able to present your side of the case. At the end of the trial, the jury will decide based on the facts presented in evidence.

After a successful will contest, there are two possibilities for what will happen next. If there was a prior will (a will executed by the decedent before the

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Can I contest a will without an attorney

Can I contest a will without an attorneyWill contests are litigation cases. They are complicated because the Rules of Evidence and the Rules of Civil Procedure must be observed. A judge is under a legal obligation not to favor one party over the other so (s)he will not be able to tell you what to do or when to do it if you try to represent yourself.  A person may have a good claim but can’t get the claim to the jury because they don’t know the rules. Unlike Hollywood movies, you can’t just talk to the jury and tell them your story. Obviously, contesting a will is a daunting task which requires the consideration of a multitude of factors. An attorney who handles litigation knows the rules and will be able to present the case to the jury for them to decide the case on the merits.
Can I contest a will without a lawyer? Legally you have a right to do that but practically you would be foolish to try.

Learn How to Successfully Contest a Will in Texas

Step by step guide to contest a will in Texas

First Thing

The first thing that you must do when you have an idea that you may be challenging a will is to contact a Texas attorney and you should contact the lawyer as soon as possible.

Since contesting a will is litigation, you need to contact a lawyer who is familiar with litigation. Some lawyers have an office practice where they draft documents for their clients and handle cases that do not normally involve litigation. Trials are seldom or never part of their practice.

Other lawyers have litigation practices where most of their cases involve suits filed in court. They may or may not be Board Certified and they may or may not be experienced at contesting a will. Since a will contest that can't be settled involves a suit filed in court, a trial attorney can help you decide if you have a good case. He can also evaluate the possiblity of settling a case without filing suit in court.

You need to be aware of the Texas probate limits or statute of limitations for contesting a will. If you miss the deadline for filing a will contest, your rights

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Contesting a will with a no contest clause.

Contesting a will with a no contest clause.Most wills have a no contest clause in them. These no contest clauses are also called in terrorem clauses. I have described these here. Many people ask if these no contest clauses mean that they can't contest a will. The answer to that question is no.

Courts are reluctant to enforce these clauses because of the chilling effect they have on legitimate claims that the will being contested is not the will of the testator. Imagine a situation where a person has gained undue influence over the testator who then makes a will leaving little to his family and benefiting the person exerting the undue influence. If the family receives anything under the will, they will be afraid that they will lose what little they have if they contest the will. It's for this reason that court's are reluctant to enforce these clauses. The legislature also passed a law making these provisions void if the person contesting the will did so in good faith and with just cause. Under that law, even if a contestant loses the will contest, he won't be denied his inheritance set out in the unsuccessfully challenged will if the court or jury finds he was contesting the will in good faith and with just cause. Of course, if someone is contesting a will without good faith and just cause, the courts may enforce the no contest clause. There are very few cases where the courts have enforced these provisions although there are some.

Learn the First Step in Contesting a Will in Texas

The first thing that you must do in Texas when you have an idea that you may be contesting a will is to contact a Texas attorney and you should contact the lawyer as soon as possible.

Learn the First Step in Contesting a Will in TexasSince contesting a will is litigation, you need to contact a lawyer who is familiar with litigation. Some lawyers mainly have an office practice where they draft documents like wills and estate plans for their clients and handle cases that do not normally involve litigation. Trials are seldom or never part of their practice.

Other lawyers have litigation practices where most of their cases involve suits filed in court. They may or may not be Board Certified. Since a will contest that can't be settled involves a suit filed in court, a trial attorney can help you decide if you have a good case. He can also evaluate the possiblity of settling a case without filing suit in court.

Continue here to discuss how to successfully contest a will in Texas

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Robert Ray is Board Certified

Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Tyler, Texas.

Robert Ray, Texas inheritance attorney.Click here to email us or to go to the contact form if you want to contact us about a Texas inheritance dispute.

Robert Ray is Board Certified

Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Tyler, Texas.

Robert Ray, Texas inheritance attorney.Click here to email us or to go to the contact form if you want to contact us about a Texas inheritance dispute.

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