There are five basic steps to contesting a Will in Texas. If you sense a problem with an estate, it’s important to act quickly. This article gives guidelines to keep in mind if you want to contest a Will in Texas.
Step One – Get A Copy Of The Will And Any Other Important Paperwork
If you want to argue in court that the Will is invalid, then you’ll need a copy of the Will. When you go to meet your attorney, the Will is the first thing the attorney will want to see. Probate lawyers can generally tell pretty quickly if a Will is valid or not.
You still have hope if you don’t have a copy of the Will. Once someone else takes the Will to court, the Will becomes available to the public.
Step Two – Go Meet A Probate Attorney
Shutt Law Firm offers free consultations. So, if you don’t know if you have a good case or not, you can find out from a dedicated probate lawyer for free. The lawyer will examine the Will and try to develop a legal course of action for contesting the Will. Some wills have “no-contest clauses” built in. These clauses are often upheld in probate court and can make it more difficult to contest a Will.
The attorney will give you the legal options and possible courses of action. Your probate attorney will also give you a good idea of the cost to contest a Will. After the consultation, you can decide if you want to proceed or not.
Step Three – Go To Court
As I mentioned, the earlier you contact a probate attorney and get into probate court to challenge the Will, the better off you will be. Will contests are handled by the probate court, not civil or criminal courts. There are three probate courts in Dallas County and one probate court in Collin County. The good thing about having specialized probate courts is that the judges know how to efficiently handle Will contests.
Step Four – Try To Negotiate a Settlement
Even if you don’t feel like negotiating with the other parties involved in the Will Contest, you may not have a choice. Probate courts routinely require the parties to go to mediation to try to reach a settlement. Many will contests in Texas are resolved by coming to a settlement.
A settlement may be a good idea because a long, drawn-out will contests could be expensive. If mediation isn’t successful, you may to go through discovery and multiple court hearings.
Step Five – Finalize Paperwork And Settle The Estate
If you were able to negotiate a settlement, your probate attorney will draft a settlement agreement for all the parties to sign. After the settlement agreement is signed by all the parties, someone will be in charge of distributing the assets. As with all probate cases, before any of the parties can receive an inheritance, debts and expenses must be paid.
Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on how to contest a Will in Texas, challenging a Will in court, or a probate settlement agreement, contact Dallas, Texas lawyer Isaac Shutt at email@example.com.
Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Campbell Road in Richardson, TX.
You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter. For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you need letters testamentary, to know if you should probate a Last Will, how to probate in Texas, Last Will and Testament, or you need a probate lawyer in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX or surrounding North Texas area.