A last will and testament is the most crucial legal document one should create during their lifetime. This document outlines what your dependents should do with your possessions, or rather what happens to your properties when you die.
If you die without creating a will, the intestacy laws will determine how to distribute your property, and your beneficiary will not be able to dispute the decisions. But even if you create your will, your dependents will still struggle to prove its validity without the existence of valid requirements.
Here are the legal requirements for a valid will and testaments in Texas:
A Will Must Be Written and Signed in The Presence of Credible Witnesses
Whether hand written or typed, the Texas Probate Code dictates that a will must be presented in a physical form. So, type and print your will or store the document in a digital copy like PDF.
Once written, you or the testator/testatrix must sign the will in the presence of twocredible witnesses who must also sign. The witnesses must, however, not be a beneficiary of your will.
It would help if you were of Sound Mind and at Least 18 Years
Only people who have reached eighteen years age can create a will in Texas. The rule, however, doesn’t apply to married minors or those in Armed Forces. It would be best if you were sound mind with no legal incompetency.
This also means that you understand what it takes to create a will, your property, and relationships with your dependents. Most importantly, it would be best if you made reasonable decisions about managing your will.
A Will Should Be Freely and Voluntarily Made
The Texas Probate Code dictates that the testator or testatrix should make the will without being pressured by those with power over you, also known as undue influence.
Must You Notarize Your Will?
It’s not a must for individuals in Texas to notarize their wills in a bid to make them valid. Notary will only be required when you plan to make the will self-proving. In that case, the court will accept the will without even checking with your witnesses, ensuring a faster probate process.
What Are Holographic Wills, And Are They Legal In Texas?
Also known as handwritten wills, Texas Law accepts holographic wills. But, to make it valid, you have to write and sign it by yourself. Again, many attorneys will not recommend using holographic wills as they could sometimes contain unclear details or errors and prove hard to validate in a court of law.
Requirements for Texas Will Executors
Will executors are the individuals responsible for carrying or controlling your wishes as described in the will. Executors’ coordinate with the court in distributing your properties, including your finances, assets, and real estate, to your beneficiaries.
To be accepted as an executor, one must have no criminal convictions, be 18 years old, and work as executor. Most preferably approved by the court to be suitable.
Is It Possible To Change Or Revoke Your Will In Texas?
Yes, you have the power to revoke your will. Unless you indicate that you won’t nullify your will, you can cancel it.
Also, if you wish to make some changes to the will, you can do so by writing a codicil, a document that allows you to revise your will.
Are you wondering where you can get these documents? Visit this page to download the Texas free will and testament form.