Q: My niece was in my grandma's will 30 yrs ago to receive oil lease. It was not probated. Is the will valid? Can contested
This is in Texas. She has been receiving royalties. But can it be contested by heirs since it was not probated within 4 years?
A: First, be aware that your niece may also be an heir of your grandmother even if the will was not probated. The oil company may have accepted a certified copy of the grandmother's will filed in the deed records or an affidavit of heirship as evidence of your niece's entitlement to royalties. Before you know whether you have a right to contest royalties paid to her, you will need to have an attorney research the deed records and also contact the oil company regarding their basis for paying royalties to the niece. Keep in mind that you should not make a claim to the oil company without having legally cognizable evidence that the niece is being paid royalties without a legitimate basis. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a tortious interference lawsuit!
A: The niece may or may not have a valid claim to the royalties. The answer depends upon who the other heirs are and what was done with the estate 30 years ago and what has happened since then. There are exceptions to the 4-year rule. You should contact a probate attorney so she can review all of the facts and give you advice on how to proceed.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.