Probate Litigation FAQs

The lawyers at Bakutis, McCully & Sawyer, P.C. in Fort Worth, Texas, represent clients in probate litigation matters. If you or your family has entered into a dispute during the estate administration process, contact our firm for solid advice and effective representation.

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

Contact our law firm if you think you have grounds for contesting a will.

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

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. As a result, the firm customarily requires a retainer, which can range from a minimum of $5,000 to as much as $25,000.

What is the "In Terrorem" or "No Contest" clause?

A lot of people put an "in terrorem" or "no contest" clause at the end of the will to discourage disputes among interested parties during the estate administration process. Sample language could include, "if you contest this will, all benefits/properties passing to you will be forfeited. " Individuals who anticipate disputes among family members following their death may want to consider putting an "in terrorem" or "no contest" clause in their will.

How much trial experience do the lawyers at Bakutis, McCully & Sawyer, P.C. have?

Our attorneys have significant experience in the legal areas that matter to you. Attorney David Bakutis has more than 30 years of litigation experience. Collectively, our firm's lawyers have more than 100 years of litigation experience.

Contact a Fort Worth Probate Litigation Lawyer

For answers to your frequently asked questions about probate litigation, contact a probate lawyer from our firm today.

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