How to Contest a Will in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide


Losing a loved one is never easy, and dealing with their estate can make things even more difficult. If you disagree with the terms of their will, you may be able to contest it in Texas. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to contest a will in Texas, including what to do, who to talk to, and what to expect.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that outlines how a person wants their assets distributed after they die. It may also name guardians for their minor children. If someone dies without a will, the state will distribute their assets according to Texas law, which may not align with their wishes.

Why Would Someone Contest a Will?

There are several reasons why someone may want to contest a will in Texas:

  1. They believe they were unfairly excluded from the will.
  2. They believe that the person who made the will was not of sound mind when they did so.
  3. They believe that the will was created under undue influence or coercion.
  4. They believe that there were errors or omissions in the will.

Who Can Contest a Will?

Any interested party can contest a will in Texas, including:

  1. The person named in the will as executor or personal representative.
  2. A surviving spouse or child of the deceased person.
  3. Any other relative who believes they have a legitimate claim to the estate.
  4. Any friend or creditor who believes they were unfairly excluded from the will.

How to Contest a Will in Texas

If you want to contest a will in Texas, here are the steps you should take:

  1. Hire an attorney: An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process of contesting a will in Texas. They can also help you gather evidence and prepare your case.
  2. File a petition: You’ll need to file a petition with the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived. The petition should include details about why you want to contest the will, who you are, and what relief you’re seeking.
  3. Serve notice: You’ll need to serve notice on the executor of the estate and any other interested parties that you plan to contest the will. This notice must be served in writing and must comply with Texas law.
  4. Gather evidence: You’ll need to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include witness statements, medical records, and other documents that show why the will should be contested.
  5. Attend hearings: You’ll need to attend any hearings related to the contest of the will. These hearings may include testimony from witnesses and a review of the evidence.
  6. Make your case: You’ll have the opportunity to make your case in front of a judge or jury. Your attorney can help you prepare for this hearing and present your evidence in the best possible light.
  7. Receive a decision: After all the evidence has been presented, the judge or jury will make a decision on whether to uphold or overturn the will. If the will is overturned, the assets will be distributed according to Texas law.

Real-Life Examples of Will Contests in Texas

Contesting a will can be a complex and emotional process.

Here are some real-life examples of will contests in Texas: