Posted on Jul 06, 2020

Forgery Signature Will Contest

A recent article from USA Today discusses the news of how “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin’s missing husband’s Last Will and Testament was determined to be a forgery.

After disappearing in 1997, Jack Lewis was declared dead in 2002. Two experts have recently confirmed his Will was a forgery. However, charges are not expected to be filed due to the statute of limitations expired. In Texas, the statue of limitations for forgery is 10 years.

Contesting a Will Due to Fraud in Texas

Forgery is a type of fraud and is certainly one reason to contest a will in Texas. A person interested in an estate may, at any time BEFORE the court decides an issue in a proceeding, file a written opposition regarding the issue. A Texas will contest can be based on a fraudulent signature purporting to be the signature of the decedent.  

The statute of limitations for a will contest in Texas is two years from the date a will is admitted to probate. The date a will is admitted to probate is also important for the burden of proof in a will contest. If a will contest is filed before the will is actually admitted to probate by the Judge, the burden of proof is on the person offering the will for probate to prove the following:

  1. Capacity,
  2. Formalities, and
  3. Non-revocation of the will.

If the will contest is filed AFTER the will is admitted to probate, the burden of proof is on the person contesting the will. 

Do you need the guidance of an experienced will contest attorney in Dallas, Texas?

We are here to help guide you in the right direction. Schedule your no charge consultation today by calling our office at 214-559-7202 or contact us online.


Sheppard Sands
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Sheppard Sands is a successful trial attorney with broad civil trial practice experience.