Estate of Grogan, 595 S.W.3d 807 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2020, no pet. h.).


Will Contests

Undue Influence

The testator was single and had no descendants. However, he had a lifetime companion with whom he had lived for decades. Testator’s will left substantially all of his estate to his companion to the exclusion of his siblings and their descendants. The siblings contested the will on the ground of undue influence. The trial court granted a summary judgment in favor of the companion determining that there was no evidence of undue influence. One of the siblings appealed.

The appellate court affirmed. The court examined the evidence in tremendous detail holding that there was no fact issue regarding undue influence or that the testator had revoked the will. The explained that not even a scintilla of probative evidence existed on these issues. Instead, it appeared the siblings were merely upset that they were excluded from the will.

Moral:  A person attempting to contest a will on the basis of undue influence needs to raise a fact issue to prevent a summary judgment that the will is valid from being upheld.