Can a Last Will and Testament be Contested?

Under Section 93 of the Texas Probate Code, an interested party can legally dispute the validity of a will by filing a formal suit. Within two years of the testator's death, any person with a valid reason can challenge the will. This includes changes made to a will in the form of a codicil, an amendment to a will. A no-contest clause is a provision in a will that states that if a beneficiary or heir challenges the will and loses, they will not inherit at all.

The testator has the right to disperse the inheritance according to any whim they desire. To challenge the will, you must reasonably prove that the testator lacked the mental capacity to understand what was happening when the current will was signed, when it was pressured to change it, or the will did not comply with state regulations and is therefore not legal. It was not properly signed that the family member did not intend for the document to be his last will and testament; the family member was not an adult and was not in his right mind that a copy is being admitted for legalization and the author of the will has not proven that the original was lost and that the will was revoked by a member of his family. When disputes arise over the validity of a will or its provisions, it can cause delays in asset distribution. Evidence of the testator's mental state at times other than when they signed the will may be considered to determine if they had testamentary capacity when they signed it.

Legal heirs are those who would receive less under the last will and testament than they would if there were no will. Challenging a last will and testament is done by disputing its validity, often by presenting evidence as to why it is invalid under state law. Beneficiaries who would receive less under the alleged will than under a previous one may also challenge it. The proponent of the will has the burden of proving that the testator had necessary probate capacity on the day they signed it. A last will and testament can only be challenged during probate when there is a valid legal question about its creation or process.

Different opinions about the mental capacity of the deceased may also be taken into account.