A will contest is a proceeding to have a deceased person’s will declared invalid, sometimes in part and sometimes in full.
In order to contest a will, the person who commences contest proceedings must have legal standing, that is, the legal right to challenge the validity of the will in probate proceedings. The law grants standing to all beneficiaries named in the will, and to all persons who would have inheritance rights if the deceased person had passed away without a will.
Depending on the grounds, the result of a will contest may be:
- Invalidity of the entire will, resulting in an intestacy or reinstatement of an earlier will.
- Invalidity of a clause or gift, requiring the court to apply principles of intestate succession, or to decide which beneficiary or charity receives the charitable bequest by using the equitable doctrine of cy pres.
- Diminution of certain gifts and increase of other gifts to the widowed spouse or orphaned children, who would now get their elective share.
Standing to contest a will
- Those who are named on the face of the will (any beneficiary);
- Those who would inherit from the testator if the will was invalid
Outside of the above two, most likely you will not have standing to contest a will.
If you are looking to challenge a will or validate a will being challenged our firm can help.
Call our Corpus Christi office today 361-792-3811