Background In Estate of Crawford, 14-17-00703-CV, (Tex. App. – Houston  November 9, 2017) the court of appeals ruled that you can waive your right to appeal in a suit contesting a will. A will was filed for probate by...Read More
Introduction An attorney is an agent for the person (principal) that he represents. Agency law imputes the knowledge of the agent to the principal. If an agent knows something, the law says that the principal knows it as well....Read More
History of Undue InfluenceThe doctrine of undue influence derives from English courts. A will contest heard by Sir Francis Bacon as the Lord Chancellor of England in 1617 illustrates common aspects of the process of undue influence which emerged in the context of a will contest. These aspects include frail health, and physical dependency, false affection, relationship poisoning, threats and mistreatment, and involvement in the execution of documents by and in favor of the alleged abuser. UNDUE INFLUENCE: DEFINITIONS AND APPLICATIONS.
Relationship poisoning and undue influence.What is relationship poisoning in the context of a will contest? A Texas court held that when a person makes negative remarks about a person’s children and reinterprets historical events in a negative manner, the jury can consider these acts as relationship poisoning. Based on the relationship poisoning, the jury can find undue influence and the verdict will be upheld.
Undue Influence in TexasOur main site, www.TexasInheritance.Com has more information about undue influence in Texas.
Good Faith Exception Texas and many other states will enforce forfeiture clauses in wills if the contestant is not successful. The clauses are know as no contest provisions or in terrorem clauses . Texas has a Good Faith...Read More
Background Although this blog is only about Texas law, a recent case out of Delaware dealt with an unusual issue and the results should be the same in Texas if the issue ever comes up. The Delaware court in 2015 was asked to...Read More
Necessary parties to will contest In every lawsuit, there are necessary parties. For instance, a husband cannot file for divorce without making his wife a party and serving her with citation. The same may be true in will contest...Read More
Non Probate Assets Financial accounts like checking accounts, savings accounts, C.D.’s and retirement accounts are non probate assets. That means that a person’s will does not control who gets the funds. The...Read More
Estoppel I’ve written about how accepting benefits under a will may prevent or estop a person from contesting that will. In a 2014 case a trial court ruled that a party was estopped from probating a newer will and from...Read More
Interested Persons 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...Read More
What is it? 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...Read More
Two credible witnesses are required. 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...Read More
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Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We handle litigation cases related to inheritance disputes including will contest, related property disputes and associated torts throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Tyler, Texas. Contact Robert