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Why do courts invalidate wills?

If you already have a will in place, congratulations! However, if you do not, it is important that you create one, ASAP.

A will is an important estate planning document that outlines how you wish to have your estate distributed when you pass on. Given its significance, it is important that your will is valid. However, it is not uncommon for a will to be challenged and eventually thrown out by the court.

Here are questions that can help you understand why the court may invalidate your will.

Was the will signed under coercion?

A will, as the name suggests must be made freely. Coercion happens when the testator, usually in the vulnerable state, is intimidated or manipulated into changing their will to leave most or all of their assets to another person. If the court can establish that the testator did not create their will out of free will, then it might invalidate the will document in its entirety.

Did you lack the testamentary capacity?

Texas’ statutory law presumes that any individual aged 18 and above understands what a will is. Thus, the court will most certainly invalidate your will if it establishes that you created your will while below this age. Additionally, individuals approaching their end of life tend not to be in their best state of mind. A will that is prepared while you are on your death bed is likely to be contested and invalidated. And that’s not all, individuals suffering from conditions such as dementia may be declared mentally incapable of creating valid wills. The same applies when the testator is believed to have created the will while intoxicated.

Was your will properly executed?

A will must be duly signed by the testator in the presence of at least two witnesses to be valid. And the witnesses too must sign the will. If this does not happen, then the court will throw out your will.

A will gives you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored when you pass on. However, for your will to serve its purposes, it must be valid. Find out how you can create a valid will for your estate and loved ones.

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