No matter how carefully a person constructs their will, sometimes there are beneficiaries, or those who think they should be beneficiaries, who challenge the will. When this happens, Texas law states that litigation concerning a will ‘s validity must be resolved before the estate can be finalized and the assets distributed.
Contesting a will is always wrought with emotion. At The Reecer Law Firm, P.L.L.C. in Denton, you will find knowledgeable attorneys who understand how stressful this experience can be. We use our years of courtroom experience in handling probate matters to protect your interests.
Types of Will Contests
In Texas, grounds for contesting a will include:
The decedent lacked testamentary capacity. This requires proof the loved one was not of sound mind when preparing and signing the will. This generally requires expert medical testimony. We also investigate witnesses, including other beneficiaries, relatives, and close friends to learn the mental state of the deceased and whether the will really expresses his or her intent.
The decedent signed the will under undue influence. This requires proof that: 1) someone exercised power over the decedent; 2) the decedent was overcome by the power of the influencer, and 3) the decedent made changes to the will that would not have been made without the actions of the influencer.
The will was not signed by the decedent or not legally witnessed. These issues seem straightforward if the will is not signed or witnessed. If it is signed, and you are challenging the validity of the signature, or the validity of the witness signatures, these are difficult challenges that we can help you with.
Probate Litigation: Breach of Fiduciary Duty
The person who is in charge of the estate, whether the executor of the will in probate court, or the trustee in charge of administering a trust, has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries to act honestly, impartially, fairly, and in good faith while ensuring Texas law is followed and the decedent’s intent is carried out. In some situations, beneficiaries claim that person has breached their fiduciary duty.
Each situation is different. At The Reecer Law Firm, we have used our years of experience and assisted beneficiaries in their litigation against the person they claim breached their fiduciary duties. In other situations, we have defended the person who is accused of wrongdoing.
Contact Probate Litigation Attorneys at The Reecer Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
Our attorneys at The Reecer Law Firm, P.L.L.C., can help you with any type of probate litigation. We investigate the issues, handle discovery matters, interview witnesses, prepare documents for court filing, and represent you in the courtroom.
Whether you are contesting a will, claiming a breach of fiduciary duty, or defending against allegations that you breached your fiduciary duty, you need someone by your side who is knowledgeable about all aspects of both probate and trust law.
Our founder, Dena A. Reecer, is Board Certified, Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and our attorneys specialize in probate law. You can contact us online or call 940-382-3168 to schedule a consultation.