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Dallas Attorneys for Contesting a Will Revocation

last willDo you have an interest in the estate of someone who recently passed away? Do you question the validity of the deceased person’s will because they revoked a prior will?

The Dallas estate litigation lawyers from Staubus and Randall can help you file a lawsuit to contest the revocation of the prior will. Our team has a century of combined legal experience representing people in estate matters. Whether it’s planning for the handling of your estate or resolving estate disputes, Staubus and Randall can provide you with the legal representation you need.

For a free consultation, contact us at 214-691-3411 now.

Revocation of a Will

When a person creates their will, they designate who they wish to inherit their property and assets. Everything they own is part of their estate. The testator, the person who is creating the will, sets forth their wishes. Those wishes will be obeyed only if the will is valid. If the testator creates a new will that revokes the old one or destroys their prior will, then the old will is no longer valid.

There are several reasons a testator might want to invalidate or revoke a will. Perhaps they’ve made changes to their assets or property that no longer align with what was included in the previous will, or they want to change how their estate is distributed and to whom.

To revoke their will, the testator can write a new will that explicitly states that the new will is a revocation of the previous will and follow all of the necessary steps to validate it (adding their signature to the will and obtaining the signatures of two witnesses). The testator can also destroy their will. A torn or burned will, for example, would be a revoked will.

If you believe your rights to the estate of the deceased person have been voided as a result of the revocation of the will, and that the revocation was made in error, you can contest it. You’ll have to prepare for a potentially challenging process, however.

Can I Contest the Revocation of a Will?

Certain people with interests in the will or the estate of the deceased person can contest the revocation of a will. The deceased person’s spouse can contest the revocation of the will. Additionally, any person who has a right to the estate of the deceased person under California’s intestate succession laws can contest the deceased’s will. Any company, entity, or person who owns debts that may be contained in the deceased person’s estate can also contest the will.

How Much Time Do I Have to Contest a Revoked Will?

There are statutes of limitations in each state that dictate when a legal process or action can take place. In Texas, the statute of limitations for contesting a will allows two years from the date the will was validated and approved by the court to contest the will. If you were legally incapacitated at the time of the testator’s passing and are no longer, if you are eligible to contest the will, you have two years from the date that you became mentally and legally fit to do so.

The Probate Process and Contesting a Will

A will has to be probated in Texas within four years from the date the testator died. Someone must petition to have the will entered into probate. Beneficiaries named in the will are notified that the petition has been filed. A probate hearing will be scheduled to determine whether the will is valid and to appoint an executor. Beneficiaries or other heirs to the estate can object to the appointment of the executor.

You can contest the will after you hear of the death, after you receive notice of the petition, or after “letters testamentary” are issued to the personal representative. You will have to have legal standing to contest the will, meaning that you have to have an interest in the estate of the deceased person, and you have to have a valid reason for contesting the will (such as the revocation of a will).

If the court has already authenticated the will and the will has been probated, you can still file a lawsuit contesting the will, but it may be much more difficult to be successful in challenging the will. You will have the burden of proving that the will is not actually valid, despite the court’s findings.

If you are successful in your lawsuit contesting the will, then the court will invalidate the will. The testator’s estate in which you have an interest will be probated. The court will determine how the estate will be distributed and to whom based on Texas’ intestate succession laws.

Why You Need an Estate Litigation Attorney at Staubus and Randall

legal docs

You can file a lawsuit to contest a will on your own. But you may be faced with an overwhelming task.

Even if you filed your lawsuit before the will was admitted to probate, you’d have to provide evidence to support your claim that the will is invalid based upon a faulty revocation. An estate litigation attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and present a strong case to the court.

During this process, there can be delays and hurdles that you may have to jump. This is a legal process taking place in a court of law. Estate litigation attorneys have the legal knowledge required to help you navigate the process and to represent you adequately in hearings related to the lawsuit.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in contesting the revocation of a will in which you have an interest, you need an attorney to represent your rights and help you reach the outcome you’re hoping for. You can file a lawsuit to contest the will, but it’s a complex legal process.

The Dallas estate litigation lawyers from Staubus and Randall are experienced in estate planning and estate litigation. Reach out to an attorney from Staubus and Randall today at 214-691-3411 for a free consultation about your options.

The Firm

The attorneys at Staubus and Randall have over 100 years of combined experience in estate planning, probate, and litigation. We have the knowledge and skills to tackle complex legal issues, such as guardianships, will contests, fiduciary litigation, and trust litigation. We can also handle routine matters, such as estate administration, probating wills, heirship determinations, and other probate court matters.

Staubus and Randall received a preeminent AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible from a peer-rated legal service. This rating recognizes our hard work, dedication, and the case results we’re able to achieve.

Staubus & Randall Team

What Our Clients Say

"I recently had the occasion to hire Mr. Staubus for a hotly contested Guardianship matter. Mr. Staubus brought a rare combination of effectiveness, reasonableness and understanding of the human element involved. Mr. Staubus handled all things in a calm, highly competent, effective and reasonable way. It could not have been as easy as he made it seem. He's a credit to the Bar."

Jody

"Before retaining the guidance of the Staubus & Randall firm, I was at my wit's end trying to close an uncle's estate as a co-executor. In addition to dealing with difficult heirs, I had other pressing business issues coming up immediately on estate land in the middle of the Eagleford Shale including dealings with pipeline, seismic, oil & gas, and construction companies. The local bank also refused to give me access to information relating to the estate. This quickly became the most stressful and desperate time in my life...and then I found Joseph Legere who truly became my guardian angel. He was able to get all issues resolved efficiently and the estate fully closed. His professionalism, immense legal knowledge on a wide variety of topics, and amazing communication skills took the burdens off of me and quickly got closure. I am forever indebted to this firm for giving me my life back."

Martha

"Without exception, the legal service, professional attitude, prompt communication of your firm and your legal knowledge is second to none. I only wish I had an attorney here in Boston that could hold a candle to your experience and expertise. Working with you has been a pleasure, but even more, has made me believe that there are knowledgeable attorneys that do care about doing a good job. Thank you Keith! You may not truly understand how much of an impact you are having on peoples lives, but for me, you have helped change my life. As I begin making my dreams come true I can't help but remember none of this would be possible without you."

Joann

"Keith Staubus and Julie Blankenship and their team represented me in a jury trial in the probate court where the ownership of the business which I had worked hard to build was at stake. They successfully fought to preserve my business and my professional reputation, working masterfully to gain the support of the jury. I would not hesitate to hire them again in any bet-the-company litigation.”

Karen

"I have required legal representation twice in my life in two separate will contests. Both times I sought assistance from Keith Staubus and Staubus/Randall. Their service, approach, and determination to obtain results exceeded the other attorneys in each case. Mr. Staubus has always come across as genuine while being direct. He gets the process done in a timely manner with results. I will certainly use him again when and if any new challenges arise.”

David

"After my husband's death, I was devastated by having to defend against a vicious dispute over my husband's estate. Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus made me feel very comfortable in this distressing situation. They were very tough and did an excellent job for me in obtaining a summary judgment in my favor without a full jury trial. I was glad to have them and Diane Walker in my corner to help me achieve an excellent result - I won! If I ever had to go back to probate court, I would hire them again.” - (will and trust construction case)

Flo

"If you need intervention for someone you love but don't know where to turn or who to turn to, Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus helped me through the most difficult and stressful time in my life with a much loved family member. I now believe that good will triumph over evil. They fought for what was right, and good prevailed." (contested guardianship and will contest)

Janet

"As a professional money manager, I have used Ryan Randall's estate planning services both personally and for my clients. Ryan has exhibited three critical attributes in his work with me: (1) high intellectual capacity, (2) exceptional thoroughness, and (3) a total commitment to integrity. In today's litigious world, it can be quite costly not to "get things done right.” An added bonus to us was that we found one of the nicest people we could imagine.”

John

"I was represented by Keith Staubus as an income beneficiary in a lawsuit with the trustee of a family trust. Utilizing the expertise of a forensic accountant and his own trust expertise, Keith was able to negotiate a judicial modification of the trust providing for the buyout of my income interest for a substantial lump sum payment out of the trust, resulting in a win-win situation for all of the parties. I highly recommend Staubus/Randall for any trust disputes and trust modification actions."

Kathy

"I have been a wealth management specialist and retirement plan consultant with the Dallas/Fort Worth financial community for over 20 years. I have engaged Ryan Randall to work with a number of my best clients over the years, including business owners, professionals and families. My clients always appreciate Ryan’s straightforward approach to estate planning, asset protection planning and business succession planning. He makes even the most sophisticated estate planning strategies understandable."

Larry

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