A will in Texas might be legally binding, but that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. Certain parties can challenge the will if they have reason to believe that the will is invalid or they’re entitled to a bigger share of the estate. These parties are typically known as “interested parties.”
Who is considered an interested party?
In the field of estate administration, the decedent’s relatives are considered interested parties. This can include children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and anyone else with a direct relation, even if they’re not specifically named in the will. People named in the will are also considered interested parties. This can include friends who aren’t related to the decedent.
If there are multiple drafts of the will, people who were named in earlier versions can also be considered interested parties. This can include people who were written out of later versions of the will.
Interested parties can challenge a will if they have reason to question its contents. During a will contest, other interested parties will be notified so that they have the chance to participate in the legal proceedings.
What if the decedent dies without a will?
If someone in your family dies without a will, their estate will go into probate. The state will decide how to divide up their estate according to state laws. During this process, you might want to hire an attorney to guide you through probate and get the process finalized as quickly if possible.
You could also hire an attorney if the decedent left behind a will, but you don’t believe that the will accurately reflects their interests. Maybe you suspect that they were forced to add someone to their will, or they weren’t in their right mind when they made changes. An attorney may help you contest the will in court.