Wills

Requirements of a Valid Will

Does the Absence of a Self-Proving Affidavit Invalidate a Will?

by Rania Combs

Texas recognizes two types of written wills:

    1. An attested will is the most common type of Last Will and Testament. To be valid, it must be in writing, signed by you, or another person at your direction and in your presence, and attested in your presence by at least two credible witnesses over the age of 14.
    2. A holographic will that must be written completely in your own handwriting, and signed by you. There is no requirement that it be signed by any witnesses.

The Texas Estates Code provides the person making a will with the option of adding a self-proving affidavit to the will. A self proving affidavit is signed by the person making the will and two witnesses before a notary public.

When a will is probated, the self-proving affidavit substitutes for in-court testimony of witnesses as to the validity of the will, which saves considerable time and expense. However, the absence of a self-proving affidavit does not invalidate the an otherwise valid Texas will.


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