The Texas Last Will and Testament is written to reflect the last wishes of a Testator regarding how they want all the property to be distributed among the beneficiaries. This legal document lists the property, which is distributed by an executor. The document is to be signed by witnesses, which are 2, and also be notarized, after the Testator has made their decisions. The document can be changed or revoked at the discretion of the testator at any time, if they’re of sound mind.
How to Write Your Own Will in Texas
Step 1. Gather Information and Name a Testator
Before you begin to write your own will, get yourself acquainted with all the new information, e.g. Executor, Assets, Guardian etc. Place your name, city and county at the top of the document.
Step 2. Choose an Executor
An Executor is a person who distributes your assets, you should trust your executor but choose an alternate in case the main one is unable to act according to your will. Here you enter the name, city, county and state of residence of your chosen executor and the same for the alternate one.
Step 3. Name Your Beneficiaries and Describe Your Property
Make a list of your assets that you shall provide for beneficiaries – these are people you want to receive it. Write down their names, addresses, how they are relate to you and last 4 digits of the SSN for all of them.
Step 4. Review everything and prepare to sign the document
The Testator checks all the information needed and then along with the witnesses enters the testator’s name, date of their signature, personal signature of a testator and printed name.
Step 5. Signatures of the Witnesses
Witnesses should enter name of the testator, their signatures and dates, addresses. Check the following: state, county, names of all signatories, their signatures.
Step 6. Notarize the Will
After the document is completed, a commissioned notary shall acknowledge and witness it as well.
How to Make A Will in Texas
Texas State Will Requirements
To make your will legal in Texas, you need to be sure of requirements, both for the will and the person who creates it. Texas Estates Code § 251.001 is where you can find them. As for the testator, it should be a person that is older than 18, is or has been lawfully married and is a member of the armed forces of the US, an auxiliary of the armed forces of the US, or the US Maritime Service. The testator may include a letter from a doctor with confirmation that he/she is of sound mind and understands every action when creating a document.
What are the Requirements for a Will to be Valid in Texas
You can create one of two types of Will to be recognized by Texas: a holographic or an attested one. A holographic Will is written by hand in your own handwriting and signed by you. Witnesses or a notary sign are not necessary. An attested Will is usually a typewritten Will, and this one requires signatures of you and two witnesses older than 14. Optionally, you may add a self-proving affidavit, and sign it with witnesses and a notary. If the legal requirements aren’t met, the court will declare it invalid, and that affects your estate, which would be distributed according to the Texas intestacy statutes and not the way you want it.
Does a Will Have to be Notarized in TexasDoes a Will Have to be Notarized in Texas
If you notarize your will, it becomes “self proved”, which means that it can be admitted to probate court without the testimony of the witnesses to the will, according to the law. Otherwise, a court will require some other proofs to be sure that the will is what it claims to be.