My mother was an abusive person and seemed to be bipolar. One minute she loved me, the next she didn't. For the record, she died when she was 85, recently. My family lives in Texas. I moved to Canada around 25 years ago.

I was going to get half of her 1 million-ish inheritance and my adopted brother would get the other half. She got paranoid about me trying to talk to my estranged brother, thinking I was trying to plot with him how to defraud her of everything before she died, and she wrote me out of her will.

Something tells me my brother didn't fight too hard to stop her from leaving everything to him. True to her word, she left everything to him, the jewelry that was supposed to be mine, all her household goods, family heirlooms and memories. He threw away my mother's entire life because he hated her for how she raised us and how verbally abusive she got at him towards the end of her life.

I've got friends telling me I should try to contest her will. The thing is, she's always been this kind of woman so to suggest she did this due to dementia or declining mental state doesn't fit with how she simply was. As well, I'm an advocate for inheritance rights and if she honestly and legally wrote me out, well... she has the right to do that, no matter how ugly or unfair it seems for me.

I'm wondering that since my mother was in her right mind when she changed her will, and since I'm all the way up in Canada, is it even worth it to try to contest this? I'm also worried that doing so would eat up most of whatever settlement I could even be awarded, making it pointless.

Should I bother contacting a lawyer or is it likely a dead case in the water?


2 Answers 2


Consult a lawyer skilled in contesting wills under Texas law. For a modest sum, they can tell you your options.

And/or, talk to your brother - whatever you do will affect the relationship so you need to determine the relative value of that versus the money.

  • He speaks to me when it suits him, which for 20 years was 3 times, and he threw away my dad’s most precious things when he died. I don’t think I’m too concerned about him anymore. I’ll talk to him first to give him one chance to explain, then check my options. Thank you!
    – Hideto
    Dec 15, 2018 at 5:06

Yes, you should contact a lawyer. I'm not familiar with the US or Canadian legal systems, but I believe that in both the initial meeting is free, and the lawyer will tell you if you have a case and what the likely costs are.

Assuming I'm right, don't be afraid to shop around for lawyers. Talk to a few before making a decision.

Also you may find that the prospect of a Jarndyce v Jarndyce scenario may prompt your brother to settle for reasonable terms.

  • Thank you so much. I’m going to do this once the holidays are over. 💜 Happy HannuKwanzaaMas!
    – Hideto
    Dec 14, 2018 at 18:24
  • @Paul Johnson Whether an initial meeting or consultation is free is a matter of the individual lawyer's policy. Many law firms offer such free or low-cost initial sessions, but no law requires them to. Dec 15, 2018 at 2:50

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