Four Common Challenges To A Will Or Trust

If you have worked with an experienced estate planning attorney to establish or amend your estate plan, you can rest assured that your final wishes will almost certainly be carried out without any of your relatives making a legal challenge. However, will and trust challenges do happen sometimes during the probate process. Someone may feel they were wrongfully denied an inheritance or claim the will submitted to the court is invalid.

When the validity of a will or trust is in doubt, all parties involved need a qualified attorney to assert their interests. Since 1975, the lawyers of Doehring & Doehring have represented personal representatives and other parties in probate and trust litigation. We are prepared to assist you with any type of will or trust challenge and help you work toward a fair solution that honors the deceased's legacy.

Challenges To A Will Or Trust

No two will or trust challenges in Texas are exactly the same. However, the following are four of the most common claims against an estate planning document:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity. To draw up a valid will, the testator must have the mental capacity to understand the consequences of signing it. This is known as testamentary capacity. Evidence that the testator had dementia, mental illness, head trauma or otherwise lacked testamentary capacity at the time the will was created could cause the court to determine it is invalid.
  • Undue influence. Sometimes, older and more vulnerable people fall under the influence of a relative or "friend" who manipulates or threatens the victims into changing their will. Undue influence means the testator lacked the free will to draw up or amend their will because of the manipulator's actions. A will created under undue influence is invalid.
  • Forgery. A will not signed by the testator or which contains a forged signature is invalid.
  • Outdated will. When a testator with a will in place creates a new will, the first will is voided by the subsequent will.

Learn More About Texas Probate And Trust Litigation

Whether you are the personal representative of an estate or you are considering a challenge to the terms of a will or trust, contact Doehring & Doehring in Houston. Call 866-456-2361 or fill out our online form to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys.