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Dallas Fraudulent Will Contest Lawyers

If you believe fraudulent activity influenced your loved one’s decisions while they were creating their will, do not hesitate to contact Staubus and Randall. We might be able to help you challenge the will so that a court could declare it invalid.

will fraud lawyerWe understand the importance of carrying out your family member’s final wishes. They were responsible enough to outline how they wanted their estate handled upon their death. Unfortunately, someone they thought they could trust took advantage of them by helping them prepare a will that doesn’t reflect their best interests or intentions. Now you must face the complicated legal process of challenging the validity of the will, so you and other beneficiaries receive what’s rightfully yours.

At Staubus and Randall, our Dallas estate litigation lawyers have over 100 years of combined legal experience representing clients in estate fraud cases. We are familiar with state laws and the most effective strategies we can use to try to reach your desired outcome. You can depend on us to protect your rights during the litigation process and fight to hold the fraudulent party liable.

Call Staubus and Randall at 214-691-3411 for a confidential consultation to learn more about what we can do for you while contesting a will in Dallas.

Using Fraud to Contest a Will

Texas law requires anyone who contests a will to have grounds for doing so. Fraud is one of the common grounds used to challenge the validity of a deceased individual’s will. You must have evidence that fraud occurred for a judge to rule in your favor. Simply stating you believe an executor, beneficiary, or another party engaged in fraudulent actions isn’t enough.

Various forms of fraud can occur during the process of creating a will. The most common types of fraud are below.

Fraud in Creation of a Will

The person creating a will can’t express their true intentions if someone misleads them before they execute or modify the will. You might have grounds to contest the will if you believe your loved one changed any part of their will because the at-fault party misrepresented specific information.

For example, someone could have told the testator (the maker of the will) about a death in the family to get them to remove that person as a beneficiary in the will. The party misleading the testator might have recommended they receive the assets instead.

Fraud in Execution of a Will

fraud execution of willTo execution a will, the testator must sign legal documents. Fraud can happen if a person drafts the documents on the testator’s behalf and misleads them into believing the terms contain their intentions. The fraudulent party might have gained the testator’s trust to such a degree that the testator doesn’t think they need to review the contents of the will.

Execution fraud can also involve a medical condition preventing the testator from reading the will, such as failing or loss of vision. The appointed executor could create a document naming them as the beneficiary of the testator’s estate instead of the intended heir.

Fraud Due to Duress

Duress refers to violence, threats, or another action used to force someone to do something against their wishes. Someone could have used physical violence or threats against the testator’s life to force them to sign a will with provisions they don’t want.

Fraud Due to Forgery

Forgery involves someone creating a fake will or changing parts of a will to benefit themselves. A person could draft legal documents as part of the will to cut out the originally named beneficiaries. That way, they can receive all of the testator’s assets upon their death.

Parties Eligible to Contest a Will

Only specific individuals are allowed to contest a will on the grounds of fraud. Texas statute 22.018 permits an interested person or person interested to challenge the validity of a will. An interested person includes:

  • Spouse, heir, creditor, devisee, or another party with a claim against or right to property in the administration of an estate; and
  • Any person interested in the incapacitated person’s welfare, including a minor.

An interested person is also an individual who suffered financial harm or would be entitled to inheritance upon invalidation of the will.

You can pursue legal action against any party involved in creating, executing, or administering your loved one’s will. The fraudulent party might be the appointed executor of the estate or a named beneficiary. If you believe fraud occurred, it is your right to hold that person accountable.

Deadline to File a Claim for Fraud

There is a timeframe you must follow to contest a will in Texas. You must file the appropriate documents in court to begin the legal process. Once the trial court admits the will to probate, you have two years to challenge the validity of the will.

However, you don’t have to wait for probate to begin to pursue legal action against the fraudulent party. If you want to file before probate begins, you can. Since probate involves a judge validating a will, filing before then could benefit your case.

Contact Staubus and Randall

The Dallas fraudulent will contest lawyers of Staubus and Randall have the experience and knowledge necessary to take on the most complicated estate matters. When you need to contest a will, we will use a strategic approach to meet your needs and try to reach the best possible result. Our legal team knows what it takes to get the job done.

Proving fraud occurred during the creation or execution of a will can be a challenge. You need a dedicated legal team on your side throughout the entire process. We will guide you through every step and provide the support you need to get through this difficult time in your life.

Our decades of experience and favorable case results have earned us a stellar reputation among the legal community. We receive multiple awards and accolades from prestigious organizations, such as Super Lawyers and Martindale Hubbell.

If you want to contest a will in Dallas, contact Staubus and Randall right now. One of our Dallas fraudulent will contest lawyers will be happy to meet you for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances and advise whether we can help. Call 214-691-3411 or reach out to us online today.

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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