In Austin v. Austin, after the decedent passed, his daughters probated an April 2016 will, and his wife then sought to probate a December 2016 will. No. 03-18-00678-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 8255 (Tex. App.—Austin September 12, 2019, no pet. history). The daughters alleged that the December 2016 will was a forgery. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court admitted the December 2016 will to probate, and the daughters appealed.
The court of appeals first discussed admitting a subsequent will to probate after admitting an earlier will:
After a will has been admitted to probate, a person may file an application to admit a later will by the same decedent. An application under this provision is not considered a contest of the validity of the earlier will. Instead, the court considers the second application under the same standards and criteria as the first and may admit the second will to probate. An order admitting a second, later will to probate “effectively revokes the probate of the first will.”
Id. The court of appeals then reviewed whether there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s finding that the decedent had signed the December 2016 will. The daughters offered their testimony that it was not the decedent’s signature and an expert’s testimony to the same effect. However, there was also testimony from witnesses who stated that they saw the decedent sign the will. The court of appeals held that the trial court was within its discretion to believe the witnesses that testified that the decedent signed the will. The court of appeals also held that the admission of notes from medical records that indicated that the daughters had improperly obtained some of the decedent’s assets were not hearsay because they were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted, but to prove that the decedent’s state of mind to change his will. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s order admitting the December 2016 will to probate.