Probate & Estate FAQ’s

  1. When can a will be contested?There are a number of circumstances under which an individual may choose to contest a will:
    • If undue influence was a factor
    • If the will was not properly executed
    • If the person who signed the will did not possess “testamentary capacity” i.e. the mental capacity to understand the process and purpose of executing a will
    • If the will was handwritten and it does not meet Texas rules and standards applying handwritten wills
    • If disputes arise between beneficiaries
  2. Can an executor or trustee be removed?Situations in which an executor or trustee can be removed include:
    • When other individuals who have an interest in the estate believe that an executor or trustee are not fulfilling their duties
    • When the executor or trustee does not have expertise or knowledge of his or her duties
    • When the executor or trustee does not have the best interests of all parties involved in mind
    • When the executor or trustee acts fraudulently
    • When the executor or trustee fails to make payments
  3. Is probate or trust litigation expensive?Yes. However, it is important to explore your payment options. You may be able to hire an attorney on an hourly basis or on a contingency fee basis. The hourly rate of experienced attorneys is about $350 to $450 an hour. If you choose a contingency fee arrangement, your attorney will get a certain percentage of the total amount of money he or she recovers for you. Besides attorney fees, deposition expenses, court reporters, expert witnesses, and costs arising from the discovery process alone are significant.