Not every estate outcome is seamless/amicable: contesting a will

Many of our blog readers in Austin and across Texas are likely familiar with television and movie plot lines focused upon squabbles following the death of a prominent family member. Stories tracking that theme are perennial entertainment winners, whether they are decidedly in the dark-humor vein or portrayals of, say, siblings intently battling it out in earnest in the wake of an unexpected estate outcome.

Although it is evident that many such offerings are fiction, it is just as true that real life probate results often mirror on-screen renderings in the genre.

Except, of course, they are anything but fiction. When a will is opened and read, the shock and disappointment of select parties – an excluded child, perhaps, or a long-time caregiver – can be extreme. In such instances, a fair expectation emerges that a disgruntled individual might seek to challenge a will’s validity.

Doing so is not routinely common. Neither, though, is it unduly rare. A will contest frequently results when allegations are made concerning a creator’s mental competence at the time of will execution. Sometimes there is evidence indicating that post-will adjustments were made or promised, with such proof not being readily on hand to vet. Third parties (ranging from financial advisers and relatives to caregivers and close confidants) are sometimes accused of fraudulent behavior that unduly influences a creator to make illogical decisions.

The established legal team at Blazier, Christensen, Browder & Virr provides sound and tailored representation to valued and diverse clients in matters spanning the universe of estate planning and administration, including will and trust disputes.

We welcome contacts to the firm.