Consider the following story if you are questioning the validity of a loved one's Will.
Your mother recently passed away in Dallas. She had 3 children, 2 lived out of state and you lived in Austin, Texas. You would come to Dallas a couple of times a month to visit with your Mom and you would talk on the phone at least 4-5 times a week. You and your mom would talk about her accounts and investments. You have noticed over the last few months your mom started slowing down and becoming more and more forgetful. You knew it was time to hire a caretaker to go to mom’s home every day to help out. You noticed when you would call to talk to your mom, she was never available. You started getting calls from mom’s friends saying that she was becoming more and more isolated and when they would visit, the caretaker would never leave her side. Even though things seemed strange, you never thought the caretaker would purposely take advantage of your mom.
After you overcame the initial shock of the passing of your mom, you finally sat down with your family to review her Will. Upon reviewing the Will, you were mortified to learn that the residuary bequest in mom’s estate left everything to the caretaker. And upon reviewing her finances, you learned that all of her investments were gone and the house had been deeded to the caretaker’s daughter.
Before her death, you discussed certain details with your mom regarding her Will, such as who would inherit certain property, jewelry, or other assets. To your surprise, things were completely different than what you had anticipated. Your instincts are telling you something is wrong, that this is not how it was supposed to be. However, there it is in black and white – your loved one’s wishes on how her estate would be distributed. So, what can you do?
Sadly, the older population is often taken advantage of by caregivers, family members, and other people close to them. This is especially true when a large estate is involved. If your “gut” is telling you the way the Will was set up does not coincide with your loved one’s wishes, you need to dig a little deeper. He or she may have been unduly influenced or not had the mental capacity to make changes to the Will. Fraud may have occurred during the creation of the Will or your loved one’s signature may have been forged. All of these issues would make the Will invalid. We recommend speaking with an experienced Will Contest Attorney to discuss your options.
Learn more about Will Contests in our article, 6 Ways a Will Can be Invalid.
Do You Need To Contest A Will In The Dallas Area?
If you need to contest a will you should speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. please contact us online or call our Dallas office directly at 214.559.7202. We help clients throughout the Dallas area with all of their legal needs and look forward to helping you.