Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Common reasons that people may challenge a will

During people’s lifetimes in Texas, people will acquire various property or acquire money which may be held in bank accounts, investment accounts and other places. People acquire these assets in order to maintain a certain lifestyle while they are living. However, all of these assets are only useful to them while they are living. After they pass away they cannot take it with them. This means that they must leave it behind with their family or other people that are close to them.

However, to ensure the property ends up with the individuals or entities that people want to have it, people should have a will or trust dictating where they want the property to go to. Wills are very important, but just because someone’s wishes are stated in a will, it does not always mean that what is stated in the will automatically occurs. Many wills still need to go through the probate process to determine their validity and ensure they are closed correctly.

During the probate process, people can challenge them and argue that the wishes stated in the will should not be carried out. There are a number of reasons that people may feel that a will is not valid. Some of these reasons are more common than others though.

One common challenge is whether the person had the capacity to create the will. Generally people challenge this if the person had dementia, Alzheimer or other diseases that may affect their ability to understand what they are doing. Another challenge may be that there was undue influence on the person at the time or someone else forged the signature. People also may challenge that there was another will that trumps the will being used.

Wills are very important documents that allow people to direct where their property will go when they pass away. However, people can challenge the validity of the will and if they do judges will make decisions about whether the provisions of the will are in fact valid. These can be very complicated though and experienced attorneys may be useful.