Is A Will Valid if the Testator signed the Will Several Days Before the Witnesses?

WritingSection 251.051 of the Texas Estates Code sets forth the requirements of a valid Will in Texas. It provides that a last will and testament:

  1. must be in writing;
  2. signed by the testator in person (or another person on behalf of the testator in his presence and under his direction); and
  3. attested by two or more credible witnesses who sign the Will in their own handwriting in the presence of the testator.

Often, the testator and the witnesses sign the Will on the same day in each other’s presence. But what if the testator signed the Will several days before the Witnesses? Can the Will be valid?


There is nothing in the statute that requires the testator to sign in the presence of the witnesses. The testator can sign the Will earlier. However, the witnesses must sign in the testator’s presence.

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