Will Contests

Evidence to Support

In re Estate of Flores, 76 S.W.3d 624 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2002, no pet.).


Testator’s will did not provide for or mention Son, a child who was born out of wedlock but whose paternity was established over a decade earlier by a court judgment. In the section of the will listing Testator’s children, Testator named his other children but not Son. Because Son was not a beneficiary of the will, he filed a will contest on a variety of grounds including forgery, lack of proper formalities, mistake, and lack of testamentary capacity. The trial court granted summary judgment against Son on the basis that Son’s evidence was too weak to support any of the will contest grounds, that is, his evidence gave rise only to speculation, suspicion, and surmise rather than to material or genuine issues of fact. Son appealed.

The appellate court affirmed. The court reviewed Son’s evidence and determined that the trial court was correct in determining that the evidence was insufficient to raise jury issues on any of the will contest grounds.

Moral: A will contestant must present evidence to raise a genuine or material fact issue to withstand the proponent’s motion for summary judgment.