Requirements of a Valid Will

What are the Requirements of a Valid Will in Texas?

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows you to identify your beneficiaries, nominate a legal guardian for any minor children, dictate how your property will be distributed after you die, and nominate an executor to manage your estate, pay your debts, expenses and taxes, and distribute your estate according to your wishes. … Read More

What are the Mental Requirements for Making a Will?

A concerned daughter contacted me. Her mother’s Will was outdated, and needed to be updated. She has been wanting to make changes for years, but getting this done now seems more pressing. Her mother is experiencing health issues, and would likely be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease soon. A distraught wife contacted me. Her husband has diagnosed with … Read More

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

Section 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: must be in writing; signed by the testator in person (or another person on behalf of the testator in his presence and under his direction); and attested by two or … Read More

Can I Make a Will if I am Physically Incapable of Signing a Document?

A Will is an important document. It allows you to specify how and to whom you property is distributed when you die. To be valid, certain formalities must be followed. For example, if you want to create a holographic Will, it should be completely in your own handwriting and signed by you.  An attested Will … Read More

Defining “Handwriting” for Purposes of a Holographic Will

In a post explaining the requirements of a valid will in Texas, I wrote that a holographic will must be written completely in the testator’s own handwriting. Apparently there is some confusion about what constitutes “handwriting” for purposes of the statute. A reader commented that he printed all his letters in block style. “Is that … Read More

Do Attested Wills Have To Be Witnessed If Notarized?

Having an attested Will notarized is not a statutory prerequisite to it’s validity. Rather, to be valid, it must be in writing, signed by the Testator, or another person at his direction and in his presence, and attested in his presence by at least two credible witnesses over the age of 14. If an attested … Read More