While it is possible to sue a will during the probate process, not everyone can sue to contest a will. According to basic probate laws, only "interested persons" may challenge a will, and only for valid legal reasons. The Probate Code identifies "interested persons" as heirs (family members), beneficiaries, creditors, and other parties who have a property right or claim against the estate being administered.
Examples of valid legal reasons to contest a will include:
This 2 part series of articles will focus on the ins and outs of challenging a will including:
Part 1 addressed Legal Standing to Contest a Will, Beneficiaries versus legal standing and Heirs versus legal standing. Part 2 addresses Minors versus legal standing, Consequences of contesting a Will and No-Contest Clauses in Wills.
Minors cannot challenge a will until they have reached the age of majority (typically age 18), however, a parent or guardian may initiate a lawsuit on their behalf.
The most obvious consequence of contesting a will is the cost of going to court. Most people will choose to hire a probate attorney to bring a will contest lawsuit to court. Depending on the size of the potential inheritance and the complexity of the case, the expense of a will contest may or may not be cost-effective.
If you are a beneficiary of a will and there is a no-contest clause, there is a possibility that if you lose your lawsuit, you could be disinherited. But again, that will depend upon whether your state enforces no-contest clauses.
If you feel you have legal standing and need to contest a will, you could have an uphill battle ahead of you. For this reason, you should consult an Amarillo probate attorney who can help. Many people have similar questions and go through the same line of questioning when deciding how to proceed with this type of decision. It can be and often is critical that you get legal help understanding the basics of contesting a will. The best way to get this understanding is to contact an experienced probate attorney near you. Stop and take a breath and call an Amarillo probate attorney who has had decades of experience. Pick up the phone and call Amarillo Probate Attorney, Bill Cornett. Bill is your choice as an experienced probate attorney in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle. Don’t waste another minute. Call him today.
Your most important action may end up being the phone call that you make to your Amarillo probate lawyer. In the Texas Panhandle that call should be to Amarillo attorney Bill Cornett. Whether you need assistance with a will, probate, or administration of an estate or a contested probate, contact the Law Office of Bill Cornett. Be smart…remember these phone numbers (806) 374-9498 or (800) 658-6618.
Bill Cornett, Amarillo Attorney, with Cornett Law Firm, offers affordable, qualified services as an experienced personal injury lawyer and probate attorney. Bill also has experience in estate planning and agriculture law. Sit down with Bill at his office located at 612 S. Van Buren St. in Amarillo TX by calling (806) 374-9498 or (800) 658-6618 TODAY to schedule a free consultation.
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Bill Cornett grew up on a farm in Knox City, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Texas Tech University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law School. Bill was licensed to practice law in the State of Texas in 1973.