When Texas residents want to change part of their will but do not want to rewrite the entire document, they can add a codicil to their will. A codicil is essentially an amendment that changes parts of the will. During the probate process, a codicil to a will can be challenged just as easily as the will itself.
How can you challenge a codicil to a will?
To challenge the codicil to a will, you’ll have to prove that the codicil is somehow invalid. You might argue that the testator was under duress when they wrote the codicil, and the codicil does not accurately reflect their true desires. You could also argue that the testator wasn’t in their right mind when they wrote the codicil. Some people have successfully challenged codicils by claiming that they’re not legally binding.
In any case, the challenge typically happens during the probate process. You might want to challenge a codicil if you have reason to believe that the testator wasn’t acting in their own best interests. If your challenge is successful, the codicil will be removed and probate will proceed as if the codicil had never been written.
Should you hire an attorney during probate?
If everything seems to be going smoothly during probate, you might not necessarily need an attorney. But if an issue arises, you don’t want to attempt to challenge a will, codicil or executor without having legal representation. Your attorney might be able to protect you if someone tries to retaliate.
Additionally, an attorney could offer a variety of legal services that helps you challenge the will and do what’s best for you and your loved ones. Legal counsel could also figure out the best way to approach a will contest, whether it involves questioning the legality of the will or figuring out if the executor pressured the decedent.