The Texas Estates Code provides “interested Persons” the right to file a will contest. If a contestant is not an interested person, he cannot file a will contest. So who is an interested person? An interested person is an heir, devisee, spouse, creditor, or any other having a property right in or claim against an estate being administered and anyone interested in the welfare of an incapacitated person, including a minor. 22.018.
In a 2014 probate case out of the Austin court of appeals, the executor appealed an order from the probate court requiring her to file an accounting. The executor claimed that since all the parties had entered into a family settlement agreement, the probate court no longer had jurisdiction to order the accounting.
Three sisters signed a family settlement agreement dividing their mother’s estate “as equally as possible.” The executor was one of the sisters. She distributed the financial accounts equally. The mother also owned a farm on Continue reading
Tortious interference with inheritance rights is a tort where someone does something that has the effect of denying you an inheritance or gift that you should have received. It is a tort just as if someone runs a stop sign and injures you. Both of these actions are torts and you may be able to hold that other person liable for your damages.
It applies when a testator has been induced by tortious means to make his first will or not to make it; and it applies also when he has been induced to change or remake it. It applies when a will is forged, altered or suppressed. It is well settled in Texas that “[a]ny intentional invasion of, or interference with, property, Continue reading
The Texas Estates Code requires every last will and testament, if not wholly in the handwriting of the testator, to be attested by two or more “credible witnesses.” The proponent of the will has the burden of proof to show that the witnesses who attested the will are “credible witnesses.”
What are credible witnesses?
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that “credible witness” is synonymous with “competent Continue reading
The Dallas Court of Appeals decided a case in 2013 that involved this contractual bequest in a will: if you “reside with and care for me until my death…” I’ll give you a million dollars. It also had a provision that if the lady failed to perform fully, then the bequest of one million dollars would not take effect.
The decedent’s daughter filed the will for Continue reading