Mittelsted v. Meriwether, No. 14-21-00755-CV, 2023 WL 2026761 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 16, 2023, no pet. h.).


Will Contest


Testator left his estate to Half-Brother as well as naming him as the beneficiary of six financial accounts. After Testator died, Testator’s Sisters contest the validity of the will on the grounds that the Testator lacked testamentary and contractual capacity. The jury agreed with Sisters and thereafter Half-Brother appealed.


The appellate court affirmed holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the testimony of certain witnesses about Testator’s lack of capacity and that the evidence of these and other witnesses was sufficient to support the jury findings of lack of capacity. The court’s lengthy opinion details the testimony of approximately twenty witnesses who testified about Testator’s capacity.


Moral:  A jury’s finding of lack of capacity will be difficult to overturn on appeal.