Success in Contesting a Will Depends on Preparation

An East Texas police officer who claims to be the “secret” fourth child of Charley Pride has filed a lawsuit contesting the country music legend’s will, according to a recent article published in the Dallas Morning News. 

Family Law and estate planning attorney John Kappel of Orsinger Nelson Downing & Anderson says disputes over high-profile estates among nontraditional and blended families are common, but changing a valid will is typically difficult but not impossible. 

“If the will is not executed correctly or there is a strange circumstance, success is much higher,” says Mr. Kappel. 

He says an individual may have success contesting a will if they can prove the family member did not have the mental capacity at the time of signature or was pressured into signing. 

Mr. Kappel adds when developing an estate plan, preparation is key. Some points to consider: 

  • Always have a licensed attorney draft and develop the will 
  • Type the will and make sure it’s clean and easy to read 
  • The will must be signed by the person executing the will and witnessed by two people that are not beneficiaries 
  • Notarize the will with a self-proving affidavit 
  • Don’t lose the original 

He says an individual can include a no-contest clause that states that if a family member contests the estate and loses, that person is in jeopardy of losing inheritance. 

For more information, please contact Sophia Reza at 800-559-4534 or 


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