Frequently Asked Questions About Wills

Can a Convicted Felon be an Executor in Texas?

I received a email recently from someone asking whether a convicted felon can serve as an executor in Texas. The individual who contacted me had two daughters and one son, but didn’t trust his daughters to be fair and honest. Unfortunately, his son had been convicted of a felony. Section 304.003 of the Texas Estates … Read More

Do I Have to be an Adult to Make a Will in Texas?

The Texas Estates Code provides that in order for a Will to be valid, the person making the Will must not only be of sound mind, but also have attained the age of eighteen years; be or have been married; or be a member of the armed forces of the United States, an auxiliary of … Read More

What is a Residuary Clause?

I recently worked with a couple that wanted to make sure that all their wordly possessions passed to the surviving spouse upon their death, and then to their children when both of them died. Rather than listing out every specific asset they owned, I used a residuary clause to accomplish their goals. They became alarmed … Read More

Is There A Difference Between A Beneficiary And An Heir?

The words “Beneficiary” and “Heir” are often used interchangeably, but each word has a very specific legal definition. A beneficiary is someone who benefits from the transfer of property, such as by a Will or a Trust. A beneficiary can even be the person who transfers the property. For example, in the case of a … Read More

Can The Beneficiary Of My Estate Also Be My Executor?

I’ve received several emails the past few weeks asking whether it is possible for a beneficiary of an estate to also serve as executor. Naming someone as the executor of your estate does not preclude him or her from inheriting from you. In fact, the executor can and often is a beneficiary of the estate. … Read More

Can I Add a Self-Proving Affidavit to a Holographic Will?

I have written before about the benefit of adding a self-proving affidavit to an attested Will. Doing so typically save time and expense because it eliminates the need that sworn testimony from witnesses will be required to prove up the Will as the decedent’s Last Will and Testament. Holographic Wills can also be self-proved, which will … Read More