Houser Firm

Can you contest a will if the court misinterpreted its contents?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2022 | Probate Litigation

The public generally looks unfavorably on probate courts. Many believe court officials have no empathy and don’t understand when the bereaved question the validity of a will or other document.

As those who provide residents with estate planning and probate services, we can understand this point of view. However, we also know that probate judges in Texas often face things that make their job harder. The ambiguous language contained in legal estate documents is one of these things.

Wills are not always easy to interpret

You are likely accustomed to how your loved ones express themselves, but a probate judge is not. Yet, it remains a primary court duty to interpret the words and phrases in your family member’s final will. It is safe to assume they could get it wrong occasionally if faced with ambiguous or informal language.

You would likely find it difficult to contest a will based on judicial misinterpretation. However, a recognized ground for challenging a will involves the document containing unclear provisions.

To succeed with your challenge, you must prove that the court misinterpreted your family member’s intent when creating their will. We recommend acquiring legal guidance if this is your sole reason for contesting a will.

Other ways to challenge the will

Some of the most common reasons people may contest the will of a loved one include:

  • The testator suffered undue influence by another
  • The testator was a victim of fraud
  • The testator lacked the mental capacity to create a will
  • The testator had a newer or updated will

The process of contesting a will is emotionally exhausting. Before you decide how to proceed with your challenge, we urge you to learn more about Texas will, trust and estate laws.