Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

What are reasons to challenge a will?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | probate administration

There are few guarantees in life for people in Texas. One of the few guarantees is something that people generally want to push off as long as they can though. That guarantee is that everyone will pass away at some point in time. While it may be something that people want to push off, people do not know when they will pass away. Therefore, it is important that people plan for their passing. They cannot bring anything with them and having a will is very important.

A will allows people to dictate who will receive their possessions when they pass away. If people do not have a will, their possessions will be split and given to people according to the intestate laws in Texas. This may not be what people want though. They may want to leave more to certain children or give a portion to a charity or other non-family members. Wills allow people to do this, but they must be drafted correctly otherwise it could be challenged in probate by people who may believe the will was not the deceased’s true wishes.

The reasons

There are many different reasons that people may challenge a will, but some are more common than others. Some of the common reasons people challenge wills are:

  • Mental capacity – people need to be of sound mind when they draft the will. This means they need to understand the assets they are passing on, understand what a will does and understand the beneficiaries who will receive the property.
  • Fraud – This could include someone else forging the person’s signature or putting undue influence on them to give a certain gift in the will.
  • Elements of the will – Wills need to have certain provisions, need to have witnesses of a suitable age, have a self-proving affidavit and other clauses to be valid. People could challenge that one of the required elements is missing.

It is important that people prepare for their deaths by having a good estate plan. One of the important documents they will need is a Will. These need to be drafted correctly though and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.