Contesting a will is an expensive way to question if someone’s will is valid. The process involves litigation, which means you’ll owe court costs and attorney fees.
You may be wondering, How much does it cost to contest a will in Texas? Today we will examine that question.
How Much Does It Cost to Contest a Will in Texas?
The cost of contesting a will depends on the complexity of your case and how much your attorney charges.
It’s difficult to give an average cost to contest a will because each case and attorney rate differs. Here are the typical costs to file a will contest in Texas.
Attorney fees vary based on the lawyer’s experience and how much time your case requires. Typically, a probate lawyer in Austin requires a retainer upfront and draws on that amount as they bill by the hour.
Court costs usually include the initial filing fees, service of process fees, and the fees for the court reporter.
Costs to Hire Professionals
In many will contest cases, professionals are brought in to offer expert testimony. For example, some people hire graphologists to analyze the testator’s (the person who created the will) signature for legitimacy.
Who Pays To Contest a Will?
The person bringing the lawsuit typically pays the cost of contesting a will. However, if you win your case, you may be able to be reimbursed by the estate for litigation costs.
How Does the Will Contest Process Work?
After someone dies and their will is admitted to probate, there’s a two-year window to bring a lawsuit challenging the will.
To contest a will in Texas, you must be an interested person and have legitimate grounds for your claim. An interested person is someone who has a right or claim to the estate, such as a spouse or heir. Determining if you have proper grounds to contest the will is trickier.
Being upset about what you did or didn’t get under the will isn’t enough to bring a claim. Some valid reasons to challenge a will are the testator lacked the mental capacity to make a will, or they created it because of undue influence from someone else.
You must file a petition with the appropriate probate court to initiate the proceeding. A hearing will take place where the judge will evaluate the evidence and listen to the witness and expert testimony.
Depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s current caseload, a will contest can last months or years.
Our Probate Attorneys Can Help You Contest a Will
To contest a will in Texas, you need an experienced probate and estate administration lawyer by your side. At Robbins Estate Law we can evaluate your case, so you know if contesting a will is a viable option.