People accumulate property over the course of their lifetimes and when they die, they get to decide what happens to it. Typically, they use a last will and testament to let family members and the Texas probate court know who they would like to have their assets. In most cases, this process is uneventful. However, there are ways to dispute a will if you’ve been unknowingly left out.
Changes were made
If you were a beneficiary to a will at one time, you may be able to contest their will if your loved one later revises it. You might be successful if you can prove that your loved one had diminished mental capacity when they changed their will. You’ll need to get copies of the will with your name in it as well as every revised version after you were removed. The executor should have copies of the current will and previous versions of it. Part of the executor’s job is to compare recent versions of the will and note significant changes.
Sometimes a person will tell someone they are going to gift them property after they die but don’t put it in writing. If you expected to receive assets from a loved one but their will doesn’t reflect that agreement, you may be able to contest the will in probate court. Remember, you will bear the burden of proof and will need to show the court that you are the rightful heir to the property you are claiming.
Contesting a will could be expensive so it’s important to consider the costs versus the benefits. An experienced estate planning attorney may be able to help you navigate the process and provide legal advice. Mediation may be a less expensive option if all parties agree to sit down at the table and negotiate a reasonable solution.