What to do if family members influenced someone to write a new Will in which they benefitted from?

For several reasons, my dad was depressed/not well mentally for a time about 3 years ago. My brothers came and had a Will drawn up for him to sign. One brother and I have spent 20 years paying off the farm note where my Dad lives. Because of this, my Dad said that the entire farm would go equally to this brother and I when he died. This new Will is full of inaccuracies – “land that was a gift to my kids” (we paid for the land in question). It also requires that the farm be sold – not what Dad wanted. The other brother did not help pay for the farm, but with this new Will he gets 2/5+ of the value.

Asked on November 30, 2010 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am assuming here that your Dad has passed away and I am sorry for your loss.  You can challenge - or contest - a Will and the validity under various theories.  Undue influence - which would be improper persuasion or a misuse of a relationship to take advantage of a person's weakness - is one of them and that which I think applies here.  You are going to have to prove that your Father did not make the Will when he was in his "right mind" or "sound mind" and that he lacked "testamentary capacity" at the time that it was executed.  Seek legal help here with this matter.  Good luck.


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