Will & Trust Contest
San Antonio Attorneys Helping You with Estate Matters
Even though a decedent may have left a will, the estate may not be divided
according to the specifications of the will if it is shown to be invalid.
There are times when the validity of a will may come into question. A “will
contest” is a legal challenge to the validity of a will. The will contest
can be brought by anyone wishing to dispute a particular will’s validity.
The court will generally allow a specific time period when a will contest
can be brought. Grounds for contesting a will include:
• Incapacity of the decedent at the time the will was made. The
decedent must have been of sound mind and body at the time the will was
drafted. This means the decedent must have been able to basically understand
how assets and property were being divided up. Proving mental illness or use
of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of will drafting can be grounds for a
• Finding a later will, thereby nullifying the original will.
• Improper execution of the will including proper signatures, witnesses,
and notarization. The will must conform to all state requirements of
• Undue influence of another on the decedent at the time the will was
made. If one can prove the decedent was coerced, tricked or placed under
duress to change the content of the will a will contest can be made.
• Forgery of any signature on the will including testator or witnesses.
The contest of the will must be tried before the will can be probated. The
cost for the contest will come out of the estate reducing its overall value.
If the will is shown to be invalid in court the court may:
• Have the decedent's assets distributed according to the states intestate
laws. Intestate laws are the legal defaults for dividing estates without a
• An earlier will can be reinstated.
• Reject the part of the will shown to be invalid.
Will contests are often very emotional, highly charged cases. It is
important to seek qualified legal assistance to help you through this very
difficult time. If you are questioning the validity of a will or trust, call
or email the Law offices of Mark Bombenger or Laird McNeil today to discuss your situation.
Busting Living Trusts
In some cases the lawfulness of trust may come into question. The legality
of a trust can be contested for many of the same reasons as wills, including
poor construction of trust, or improper execution of Grantor’s wishes by
Trustee (e.g. step-parent does not give beneficiaries their shares of the
estate upon passing of parent.). A skilled estate attorney can help you bust
a trust that may be unfair or illegal. Call or use our convenient email form
today to speak with a skilled attorney regarding your options.