The primary purpose of a will is to give instructions on how to dispose of the decedent’s property and how to care for minor children after death. As a Sugar Land wills lawyer can explain, a will is a legal document; therefore, specific legal requirements must be followed for the will to be valid.
The person making the will, known as the “testator”, must meet the following will requirements:
In Texas, a will may be either handwritten (“holographic”) or typewritten (“formal”), as a trust and estates attorney can explain. If handwritten, the entire will must be written in the testator’s handwriting.
Additionally, valid signatures and witnesses are best practice regarding will requirements. The testator must sign the will or direct someone to sign it on his behalf in his presence. Two witnesses, 14 years or older, must sign the will in the presence of the testator attesting to the fact that this is intended by the testator to be his will.
After execution, a will can be amended due to a change in the testator’s circumstances or wishes. Either a part of the will can be changed by the use of a document called a “codicil.” The will can also be revoked in its entirety, typically with the execution of a new will.
Upon the testator’s death, the will is submitted to the probate court. If the court determines the will to be valid under Texas law, the court issues “Letters of Testamentary” to the executor named in the will. It is the executor’s duty to follow the instructions contained in the will.
If the court finds the will to be invalid, under Texas law, the estate of the decedent may be treated as if there were no will at all (which means the decedent died “intestate”). In such a case, the estate is disposed of as prescribed by law, without any consideration given to the wishes of the decedent. I can’t stress enough the importance of writing will requirements properly.
Contact our offices to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer who can help you write a will that will be valid in Texas courts.
When asking how to write a will, the first consideration should be a consultation with an experienced Fort Bend County estate planning lawyer can help ensure you create a legally valid Texas will, allowing you the peace of mind that your wishes will be fulfilled. Contact Fort Bend County estate planning attorney today to schedule a free initial consultation.
For a free initial consultation with experienced writing wills in Sugar Land, please call us or contact our Sugar Land law offices.
Romano & Sumner – Sugar Land, TX Attorneys