In this case study, we delve into a typical scenario encountered by our probate attorneys involving a will contest. It involves a contest to a deathbed will that was executed just before the person died. One sibling purported to have a new will for the decedent and refused to produce it.
We were approached with concerns about the validity and potential need to contest a will. They had an older will in their possession, but were told of a newer deathbed will.
The new will purportedly left everything to one of the siblings, excluding the other eight siblings that were included in the prior will.
The sibling who had the will would not produce it or show it to anyone. They just took over the estate based on these representations and started disposing of assets.
Our client wanted legal assistance to navigate the probate process and protect her rights as a beneficiary.
The Proposed Solutions
Upon careful examination of the client’s situation, our experienced probate attorneys proposed a strategic approach to address the challenge at hand.
We explained to the client that, given the current circumstances and that every effort had been exhausted to get a copy of the alleged new will and that the asset distributions were currently stopped, we would proceed with the probate process for the old will and put the burden to contest it on the other party. This approach would allow us to initiate the legal proceedings promptly, protecting the client’s interests while keeping future contingencies in mind.
Furthermore, we provided clarity on contesting beneficiary designations, specifically regarding life insurance policies, and informed the client of their rights and potential legal recourse in such situations.
The will was admitted to probate and, just after the probate, the other party filed a will contest. The contest was premised on a will that was clearly forged last minute. The case ended up being litigated and the jury did not accept the newly-forged will.
Our client was appointed as the executor of the old will and the other party ended up having to repay the estate for distributions that were wrongfully taken from the estate, damages, and the attorney’s fees.
This case study illustrates how to navigate the probate process and contest wills when necessary. By understanding the unique challenges our clients face and proposing tailored solutions, we strive to achieve favorable outcomes while providing clarity and support throughout the legal journey.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, our team of experienced probate attorneys is here to provide knowledgeable guidance and dedicated representation. Contact us today to discuss your case and explore your legal options in Texas probate litigation.
Our Houston Probate Attorneys provide a full range of probate services to our clients, including helping with will contests. Affordable rates, fixed fees, and payment plans are available. We provide step-by-step instructions, guidance, checklists, and more for completing the probate process. We have years of combined experience we can use to support and guide you with probate and estate matters. Call us today for a FREE attorney consultation.
The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information presented may not apply to your situation and should not be acted upon without consulting a qualified probate attorney. We encourage you to seek the advice of a competent attorney with any legal questions you may have.